ISLAMIC RHETORIC - IS IT JUST ME?
Maybe the fault is in Western Logic, but the reaction of certain elements of the Muslim community to recent remarks by Pope Benny seem to be ironic proof of the veracity of the remarks themselves. According to the Washington Post, "In the speech, the Pope, a former theology professor and enforcer of Vatican dogma, referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus. The emperor said everything the Prophet Mohammad brought was evil such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"
So what was the response to this? In Indian-controlled Kashmir, shops, businesses and schools shut down in response to a strike call by the head of a hard-line Muslim separatist leader to denounce Benny. For the third day running, people burned tires and shouted "Down with the pope." Other countries saw rioting and the burning of pictures of Benny. Christian churches in the West Bank and Gaza were firebombed and shot at, and a threat from al-Qaida in Iraq said that "you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. ... We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."
Did I miss something? Did the Pope mention something about Mohammad and the spreading of Islam by the sword? And doesn't this al-Qaida response say something about killing folks who don't convert to Islam?
Hello? Clearly Islamic logic works on different principles than Western. Trying to refute the Pope's quotation by doing exactly what the quotation says seems to be the stupidest tactic on earth. The response clearly demonstrates the accuracy of the quote. If some folks are offended by the truth, that's a bit of a shame.
Do I think all Muslims are of like mind? No. But they are sure pretty quiet when it comes to denouncing the inane rhetoric of the violent few.
I don't recall Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad apologizing for his remarks about Israel needing to wiped off the face of the earth. And he isn't quoting some 14th century text out of context but saying what he feels here and now in the 21st century. However, the whole Muslim world thinks the Pope has to grovel and bend before Allah.
When will the Muslim zealots of the 14th century wake up and join the 21st? As ever, religious fundamentalists are eager to use their personal visions of a mythical god to promote their own agendas. And the Islamic fundamentalists seem to be much better at it than any other group. Yet if the so-called "moderate Muslims" aren't prepared to do something about it, then how "moderate" are they?
This witless, strident, fundamentalist rhetoric is getting more and more irritating. It's like listening to whining kids who can't get their own way and who don't get a slap from their parents because that would be "wrong."
The sooner the whining brats get a slap on the backside, the better.