Last week, the "Muslim world" rallied in anger against Pope Benedict XVI and forced him to apologise for comments he made the week before about the relation between violence and Islam during a speech (edited version) he made in a German university. Death threats against the Pope, attacks on Churches, burning of effigies of the Pope, his being equated to Mussolini and Hitler and the killing of nun and her bodyguard followed.
In my mind this “incident” around what the Pope said is like the one surrounding the Mohammed drawings earlier this year: politically orchestrated by people in the "Muslim world" who have an interest in keeping the animosity against the western world alive. The fact that it took a month and a visit by local Muslims to the Middle East to start the cartoons crisis seem to indicate this.
It only took a few days in the Pope's case but the fact that there is a delay seems conclusive that some sort of manipulation is happening (I also think that the people rioting are not monitoring the world press for obscure negative comments on their religions in foreign countries and languages…)
What I don’t quite get in this instance (the situation is basically the same with the cartoons) is that SOME muslim people reproach the Pope to have said that Islam is violent (something he does not seem to have done anyway). They do this violently. Why, then, do they find what they think is the Pope’s statement offensive? It would seem to coincide precisely with their view of Islam…
Originally published on 21 September 2006, 1.57pm.
Tags: Mohammed cartoons, Islam, faith, Pope, Muslim, Catholicism, Benedict XVI, Christianity, freedom of expression, .