Monday, September 18, 2006


Kester at the Complex Christ has a post today entitled would the real islam please... sit down
The irony of the current furor surrounding the pope's comments is truly astonishing. As Kester bluntly puts it it is like saying:
You say I'm violent once more, and I swear I'll smack your head in

This confusion between the small voices of scholars who expound Islam as a peaceful religion, and the huge dynamite voices of those who explode that view is creating a massive problem - both within the world as a whole, and within Islam itself. (It is not dissimilar, of course, to the tension felt within Christianity - with the aggressive Zionist, fundamentalists on one side, and the way-of-peace movement on the other.)

My prayer is that the real Islam would... not stand up, not wave banners and shout for blood, but sit down and talk with us, and show us this religion of peace. Not to shut them up, but to teach us about the way of peace too. None of us follow our religion purely; we all need to try to lead by example better. And more than ever that leadership needs to be round the table.
In case you missed it, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Byzantine emperor who criticised the teachings of Mohammad for endorsing the use of violence, in a speech to an academic audience at a German university last Tuesday.

Since then the Globe & Mail reports:
  • A 65-year-old Italian nun was shot in the back four times by pistol-wielding attackers as she left the Austrian-run S.O.S. hospital in Mogadishu after finishing nursing school for trainee medics. Her bodyguard was also slain. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, which came just hours after a leading Somali cleric condemned the Pope's remarks last week on Islam and violence.
  • Two churches were set on fire in the West Bank, a day after Muslims hurled firebombs and fired guns at four other West Bank churches and one in the Gaza Strip.
  • In Iran, about 500 theological students protested in the holy city of Qom on and hard-line cleric Ahmad Khatami warned that if the Pope did not apologize, "Muslims' outcry will continue until he fully regrets his remarks."
  • In Iraq, the insurgent umbrella group the Mujahideen Shura Council, threatened in an unauthenticated Internet statement to "break the cross and spill the wine" in revenge.
The Times reports today:An Iraqi militant group led by al-Qaeda has threatened to massacre Christians in response to remarks about Islam by Pope Benedict XVI that have caused offence across the Muslim world.

No comments: