Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I haven't posted in a while, but this business about the Pope's remarks and the fury they evoked in the Muslim world seems something worth coming out of hibernation for. Not that I should even be in blog hibernation anyway, after all, it's not as though I'm so very swamped by studies.

From: Me
To: The Muslim world
Re: Apology on behalf of Benedict XVI

It is with the most heartfelt sincerity that I address myself to you on this subject, in the hopes of setting some things straight on this matter and also perhaps of quelling the indignation many of you have been expressing. As is by now generally known, the pope gave a university lecture in Germany on the issue of God and science, in particular the common notion that considerations of God must be put to the side in discussions of science, like thoughts of differential calculus being put aside in discussion of Roman history. In introducing this theme to his lecture, the pope brought up a dialogue between an Islamic scholar and a Byzantine emperor, in the which the emperor, as the pope quoted, pointed out that Islam, where it had at that time spread, had brought only bloodshed and violent proselytism.

I am sorry that your faith is the most violent major religion in the world, and has been ever since the downfall of the Aztecs in the 1520's.

I am sorry that your faith has throughout history made converts mainly by the sword and kept them through threat of death, and that this fact was blindingly obvious to the Christians of the Eastern Roman Empire.

I am sorry that the violence of your faith, or of many of those who practice your faith, is amply attested to by the reaction to the pope's remarks, which have, according to the National Catholic Register, included the incineration of a Greek Orthodox church in Israel, and renewed call for jihad from those from whom it is no surprise.

I am sorry that many of you are so keenly aware of Islam's violent history that the mere mention of it, through a quotation from a six-century-old conversation, is met with the same wrath and speed of action that one would expect from a religion that had just heard they had been outlawed and would be required to hand over all their scriptures and religious texts.

Lastly, if indeed there is a "soul of Islam" struggling to break free from those who have commandeered it to their violent tendencies, then I am sorry that so far, and for a very long time, the usurpers seem to have been winning hands down.

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