Sunday, September 17, 2006
Making the Pope's Case
Here's my favorite quote of the week. It is from Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam: "Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence" [source here].
Translation: If you say Islam isn't a peaceful religion, we will kill you.
In other news, Muslims all over the world protested the Pope this week, taking to the streets to make their case that Islam is a religion of peace by burning effigies of him.
In Palestine, radical Muslims made an exceptionally good case for their argument by firebombing ancient churches.
An Italian nun in Somalia was killed this week--it is suspected that the attack was made in retaliation to the Pope's lecture. Right now, the matter is still being investigated. The news agency Reuters has been told by "a top Islamic source" that the Pope's words were indeed the reason for the attack.
As if all this wasn't enough, the Mujahedeen Army has warned they will launch a suicide bomb attack on the Vatican. On their website, they told the Pope, whom they referred to as "the dog of Rome," "We swear to God to send you people who adore death as much as you adore life."
Yes, let's get that straight: we are for life, you are for death.
They also threatened to "shake your thrones and break your crosses in your home."
(If you were wondering where this especially spirited post comes from, just read that quote again.)
Today the Pope clarified his statement telling crowds in the Vatican that he was "deeply sorry" about the reaction to his lecture. He also said, "These (words) were in fact a quotation from a Medieval text which do not in any way express my personal thought."
Translation: You're right, you are tolerant...please stop burning our churches now.
Of course, though many Muslim leaders have said that the Pope's remarks were sufficient, many others have continued to call for violence. I know not all Muslims participated in the demonstrations. But if I were the Pope, I'd be rethinking this whole "let's visit Turkey" idea.
Holy Father, San Diego is real nice this time of year... And you can say anything in a lecture to our students at JP Catholic University that you want. We promise not to call you a "dog"... Well, excepting the occassional reference to a term of endearment. You may hear us call you our "German Shepherd."