Posted by: Kevin | September 19, 2006

Pope to Muslims: You’re violent.

Muslims to Pope:  I will kill you for your lies!

In a speech last week, Pope Benedict XVI called on Muslims to join in a peaceful cultural dialogue.  In the midst of that speech he quoted 14th century Byzantine Emporer, Manuel II Paleologos, in the following:

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only evil and inhuman, such as the command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

First, the obvious.  The hypocrisy of a Catholic Pope (and for that matter, a Byzantine Emperor) criticizing the violence of other religions is staggering.  The same Vatican that ordered the Crusades and the Inquisition, is now going to instruct the world on non-violence.  Pardon me while I go vomit in the corner.  The only thing that could make this worse would be for Muslims to prove him right by acting out violently.  Of course, that’s exactly what they decided to do.

I think this is premeditated.  The Danish cartoon crisis (which I wrote about here) of earlier this year made it clear that Muslims would overreact to any slight to their religion.  Pope B had to know that the media would pounce on the quote above, regardless of how he qualified it.  I think he has an agenda here and that is to influence domestic politics in Europe. 

With the US’ blunders in Iraq to focus on, the left leaning governments in Europe have drifted back into their standard knee jerk anti-Americanism.  Lost in the shuffle has been the very real threat to Europe and the world presented by radical Islam.  Pope B seems like the kind of right leaning guy who wouldn’t lose sight of this threat.  So he cleverly inserted this incendiary quote his speech on tolerance and dialogue.  Then, he qualifies it in such a way that most western observers would find inoffensive.  He’s given Islam another chance to disqualify themselves from rational dialogue and they took the bait.

All of the above is theory.  I have no proof of any of it and likely no way of obtaining any.  But I have to ask.  The Vatican taught Europe how to play politics for hundreds of years.  Do you really believe they would be this naïve?  Or is it more likely that they were this clever?


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