Friday, September 15, 2006

The Pope and the Muslims

First it was Salmon Rushdie and his "Satanic Verses". Then it was who could have been a wife of Mohammad (in Nigeria). Then the Danish cartoons. Muslims erupt against these and call for death against the perpetrators. They don't seem to know about freedom of speech and are willing to make death threats in the name of their religion.

Now it's the Pope. According to Reuters:

The Pope on Tuesday repeated criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by the 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached".

The Muslims have responded in the same way as to Rushdie, the Nigerian writer, and the Danish cartoonists. They have condemned the Pope's remarks and are linking the Pope to Zionism. They accuse the Pope of bringing back the Crusades.

I say they are both right. I don't think everything that Mohammad said was "evil", but if he commanded the spread of his faith by sword, that is not a peace-loving command. And the Pope should talk, coming from a religion that massacred the Muslims in the Crusades. Both are pots calling the kettle black.

However, I think that discord and violence should not be spread around. The Pope and Muslim leaders should be talking about making peace in the world and solving its problems, such as global warming and peak oil. Everyone should be doing this. What I am afraid of is that this means we need to turn our back on both Islam and Christianity. If this is what it takes, that is what we should do.


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