Sunday, September 17, 2006

de ponteficis et imperatoribus

Manuel II Paleologos, one of the last eastern Roman emperors.

Everyone has been following the question of pope Benedict and his remarks about Islam quite closely. He has finally apologized, though perhaps not as enthusiastically as some might wish. I myself believe that the pope was not fair to Islam, though I believe in a more subtle way than the press may have suggested when it referred to his quotation of Manuel II out of context. I won't repeat arguments that I have already made on Jeff's and Prickliestpear's excellent blog posts on the subject, and for the most part I would like just to send people elsewhere to particularly good posts on this issue.

Crystal has taken the time to investigate that sad figure, Manuel II Paleologos, one of the last heirs to an empire that once stretched from Britain to Mesopotamia and in his time was reduced to a sliver of territory around Constantinople. Manuel was forced to play the charming and refined Greek supplicant in the courts of Western Europe, begging for aid to save his doomed city, aid that would never come and would be too late in any case.

Guillaume le Fou, in his comment on Jeff's blog, steered me to Juan Cole's post about the mistakes Benedict made in his discussion of Islam. It's good reading for those who continue to insist that Islam is by nature a violent religion. There are a couple of other points he makes in this and in another post that may be good to take into account. One is about how many in the West see Muslims as "thin-skinned":
Some commentators have complained about Muslim sensibilities in this regard. But in my view, this sensitivity is a feature of postcolonialism. Muslims were colonized by Western powers, often for centuries, and all that period they were told that their religion was inferior and barbaric. They are independent now, though often they have gained independence only a couple of generations (less if you consider neocolonialism). As independent, they are finally liberated to protest when Westerners put them down.

There is an analogy to African-Americans, who suffered hundreds of years of slavery and then a century of Jim Crow. They are understandably sensitive about white people putting them down, and every time one uses the "n" word, you can expect a strong reaction. In the remarks the pope quoted about Muhammad, he essentially did the equivalent of using the "n" word for Muslims. It is no mystery that people are protesting.
Like with the protests against the Danish cartoons, people seem all-too-ready to both condemn protests they see as showing too much sensitivity and also group every reaction in the Muslim world into one pot. The press helps, of course, by reporting about peaceful, if passionate, demonstrations along with acts of vandalism against churches, threats by terrorist groups, commentaries by organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and statements by individuals, as if this entire reaction were orchestrated by one group with one goal in mind.

Of course, Muslim clerics should stress peace and understanding, and many do. Attacks on churches should always be condemned. The Turkish politician who compared Benedict to Hitler is either stupid or irresponsible (note that one politician said this, not Turkey as a country, though I have seen it stated otherwise on blogs). One insurgent group in Iraq, apparently lacking any sense of irony whatsoever, has threatened to attack the Vatican because Benedict may have suggested Islam was a violent religion. Still, why do people in the West refuse to see that many people in Muslim countries have felt used, bullied, and vilified by the West and that regardless of the fact that some Muslims may overreact to what they perceive as provocations, it is our responsibility to build bridges to the 900 million followers of Islam, not burn them. Those who feel we have the right to insult their faith because some of them may insult us are advocating schoolyard politics.

One mistake that Juan Cole made was to say that Benedict should refer to the Church's policy towards Islam as expressed in Nostra Aetate. The first Vatican response actually did quote the same sections that Cole referred to:
' The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ, "the way the truth, and the life" (John 14, 6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself (4).

The Church therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.

3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself, merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth (5), who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes great pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgement when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this Sacred Synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom. '

Perhaps they should make it more clear.

I would like to refer my readers to one more blog. Check out "Charitable Hatred" and "The Pope on Islam" on Catholic Sensibility (I am not the Liam that usually comments on that blog, by the way). The best part is a response from Neil, the poster, to a comment on "Charitable Hatred:"
Regarding Pes' comment, I have read the Qu'ran, which is a very difficult book to interpret. We need to approach it with caution, remembering that some academics - after crude readings of the Book of Joshua, the sacrifice of Isaac, and the story of Cain and Abel - have been quick to label Christianity or all monotheisms as being violent.

To suggest one approach to reading the Qu'ran, Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA would suggest that we must first recognize the context of the Qu'ran, which partially speaks of a time when Muslims in the city-state of Medina were enmeshed in unavoidable hostilities and outnumbered. As he writes, "You would probably expect to find the leader of the community pumping up the fervor so that every member of this community would join the battle and ensure the survival of the community." Consequently, the Qu'ran, written at a time before the UN or international law, at times sounds rather disturbing.

He also writes, "But in fact, I find the Muslim text—whether it is the Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet, or the texts of the jurists—often rising beyond these physical contingencies, and dreaming of the more humane, the more supernal, the more sublime, the more beautiful—for instance, the parts of the Islamic texts that emphasize no treachery in warfare outside of warfare."

The problem, he suggests, is when Muslims collapse texts describing "highly contingent realities" with texts "that express the subliminal, supernal reach," in a dangerous manner that might remind us of the small number of Christian Reconstructionists.

The more universal texts, however, ground Islam in witness to the God whose justice does not require the political success of his followers in such a way that they should feel compelled to use violence to "win" at any cost. And, so, there is thus ample theological justification for the words of Nostra Aetate, which stand firmly against any crude and wholesale demonization of Islam. Furthermore, we might suggest that the temptation to violence in Islam is actually similar to the temptation to violence in Christianity - the poisonous belief that God is a player in our world, requiring us to "win" for him, dependent on his followers' earthly power.

None of this is meant to excuse the denunications of the Holy Father that seem to keep coming from the Middle East. Perhaps part of the Pope's lecture was inadvisable (this is at least debatable), but the denunciations of him are inexcusable: they proceed from ignorance and have been very painful to read and see.
An intelligent and sensitive response from someone who obviously is not a Benedict-hater. I advise everyone to be careful about certain negative opinions about the Qu'ran that are floating around out there.

I hope and pray that this crisis will be put behind us and that sincere people of faith everywhere will work more to mend than to offend.

Really, I would like things to calm down so I can concentrate on why the Mets keep losing now that they're one game away from winning the NL East. It will happen. And Pedro will rise again!

20 comments:

cowboyangel said...

Good, thorough post, amigo mio.

A correction, however. The Pope hasn't issued an official apology. He said he was "deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims." That sort of sounds like an apology, but it's evidently not good enough in diplomatic circles. Many Arab groups are seeking "clarification" of his remarks or wanting a full apology.

Cole said this morning, "The pope will say something on the issue later today. Will blog it." I just checked and haven't seen anything yet.

It's a strange situation. If, as Jeff says, Benedict has always been very careful with his words, then one wonders what he was thinking on this occasion. Various stories say he has been "shocked" at the reaction. But it's such a tense time, I don't know why he would be so shocked.

Too bad he gets all the attention for this and received almost none for speaking out against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

On a serious note: Dude, it's the New York Mets! What do you expect?!?!?

crystal said...

Great post, Liam.

I catch myself sliding over into believing the worst about Islam, without any reason other than fear and the terrible desire to be right and have someone else be wrong.

We would want others to look at the Bible rather than at the president and his policies to see what christianity is about ... we should do the same with Islam.

You aren't the Liam who comments at Catholic Sensibility? So you aren't the Liam who wears shorts to church in the summer ... to think I looked up that poem just for you :-)

Jeff said...

Liam,

Awesome post, my friend. Just outstanding. I think it's the best summary I've seen written up on it yet. This is why guys like you (history teachers and professors) need to get more credit for what you do. Knowing history is critically important, and too many peope who live in this country give it short thrift as a subject, not finding any hting "practical" in it. Nice work. I think you're finding just the right balance on this. We all need to learn more about Islam too. It's more complicated and varied than we think.

I've been a little bit depressed over the last few days over what I've seen in Catholic blogdom on this topic. It almost seems as if some of us want us to emulate the behavior of the very ones they criticize. Thanks for the Nostra Aetate quote, although there are many who openly scoff at it and regret it.

Funny thing about the other Liam. I first encountered Crystal on Joe Cecil's "In Today's News". There was a Liam there too, so I naturally assumed that he was you. I can tell the difference now though, although he's not a bad guy either. :-)

Pedro Martinez? Ouch. Between you and Pedro and Cowboyangel and Curtis Martin, you're both rubbing salt in my Bostonian wounds. Now I'm going back to watching the Pats whup up on them Jets. :-)

Liam said...

Cowboy -- you're right, it's not completely an apology, and I think that's typical of Benedict. I get the feeling that his main thing is "if everyone would listen to us and be good Christians, the world would be fine," and so he seems very reluctant to acknowledge errors on his part or on the part of the Church. I do hope things will calm down.

The Mets lost again!

Crystal,

I think there is a lot than can be criticized in the Islamic world. The problems are 1)too many people generalize specific problems to Islam as a whole, and 2)Muslims often justifiably feel that criticism coming from the west is both arrogant and hypocritical.

I never wear shorts to Church, though I don't worry too much about what other people wear. When I do comment on Catholic Sensibility, it's usually as "Alter Liam" to differentiate myself from the guy that usually comments there.

Liam said...

Jeff, thanks, you are very kind. The whole thing is very sad -- I don't know why so many people think that being a Catholic means you are an automatic enemy of Muslims.

Hey, I do like the Red Sox, although they're not what they were a couple of years ago. I live in New York, but I hate the Yankees.

And hooray for Boston College for beating BYU yesterday!

cowboyangel said...

Karen Armstrong comments on the Pope's speech.

Liam said...

Thanks, cowboy.

crystal said...

I think I've been mistaking the other Liam for you a lot ... this may explain your demented take on church music :-)

religion of pieces said...

"Really, I would like things to calm down so I can concentrate on why the Mets keep losing now that they're..."

Liam, things won't calm down until you and yours are either dead or Muslim. Pope Benedict has been trying to give us a warning.

Here are twenty facts about Islam every infidel should know. (And which the Pope probably already knows, see http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1553225/posts )

Islam ...

1) Is a mind-control and information-control cult founded by a murderer, torturer, brigand, rapist and pedophile called Mohammed. The mind-control and information-control aspects require that all criticism be silenced.

2) Is Mohammed's personality cult. Has no foundations other than Mo's murderous rantings (Koran and Hadith). The Koran consists of two conflicting parts - Meccan and Medinan (peaceful and violent respectively). The Medinan stuff supersedes ('abrogates') the Meccan stuff. Muslims act Medinan, but quote Meccan verses to the gullible infidels.

3) Claims to worship the same God as Christians and Jews, but in fact worships Allah - a demonic channelling through Mohammed's psychopathic ego. The Death Cult mixes garbled versions of Christian and Jewish scriptures with pagan practices such as moon and meteorite-worship, and cut-throat blood sacrifice of animals and non-believers.

4) Has no rational, philosophical nor theological basis, and the whole belief-system is contradicted by science, philosophy, commonsense, human decency and internal inconsistency.

5) Cannot withstand rational criticism. Can only spread and maintain itself by ignorance, illiteracy, war, terrorism, and intimidation. Islam has bloody borders and cannot co-exist peacefully with other belief systems. Winston Churchill said that Islam in a man is as dangerous as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog.

6) Has a superstitious dread of images of pigs, crosses, Buddhas, Saint George (and his flag) and of course Motoons.

7) Regards Islamic women as semihuman. Wife-beating, incest and child abuse (including mufa’khathat or 'thighing' - the ritual abuse of infants) are encouraged.

8) Regards all unbelievers (Kaffirs, Kuffar, Kufrs, Kafirs) as ritually unclean subhumans to be killed, subjugated, enslaved, exploited or parasitised. Kafirs are described by the Arabic word 'najis' - literally 'filth'. That's why Muslim hatred of Kafirs is intrinsic to their 'religion'. A Kafir doesn't need to DO anything to offend a Muslim, his very existence is enough of an affront.

9) The ethical system applies only to Muslims. Allah encourages rape, pillage, extortion and enslavement of non-Muslims. Morality does not extend beyond the global gang (ummah). Muslim ethics are the ethics of the Mafia.

10) Allah's followers are motivated by hatred, greed and lust. There is no love, mercy or compassion. Allah is vindictive, unpredictable, capricious and devious - "Allah leads astray whom he pleases".

11) The only religion NOT founded on The Golden Rule. Morality is based on Mohammed's example. If Mohammed did it then it's OK for all Muslims. Hence the encouragement of rape, pillage, subjugation and murder of non-believers and the institutionalised pedophilia prevalent throughout Muslim society (justified by Mohammed's activities with Ayesha, his child sex-slave - see and listen to http://islamcomicbook.com/lyrics1.htm).

12) All human relations are defined by Dominance/Subjugation. Muslims have schizoid inferiority/superiority complexes. (A well-balanced Muslim is one with a chip on each shoulder). They respect strength but despise compromise as weakness. Appeasement invites more aggression. The only political system which has been strong enough to subjugate Islam is Stalinism.

13) Polygamy ensures alpha-males get extra women, leading to a shortage of women for the betas. Beta-males must either jerk off (a sin leading to hell), or form dog-packs and rape or capture kafir women as booty in a razzia, or else self-destruct in the presence of infidels then they can screw 72 mythical virgins in Allah's bordello in the sky (see and listen to http://islamcomicbook.com/lyrics3.htm). Beta-males are often encouraged by their relatives to become suicide bombers because of the belief that such murderous 'martyrs' will be able to intercede with Allah to take 70 of their relatives to paradise with them.

14) Lying and deception of infidels (taqiyya) is encouraged. This may take many forms, including outright lies, feigned moderation, and condemnation of terrorist attacks to the Kaffir while rejoicing with fellow Muslims. All Muslims need to regard themselves as victims of some group of Kafirs so they can harbor grudges against them and against Kafirs in general. Individuals may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and must be considered potential killers who can flip in an instant (SJS -'Sudden Jihad Syndrome').

15) Muslims are forbidden to befriend Kaffirs except for purposes of deceit or where conversion may be possible.

16) The Koran is Allah's final word and cannot be changed or challenged. To do so is punishable by death. Consequently, the Death Cult can never change or be reformed. The instructions to murder and rape infidels are just as valid now as the day they were written. Since Islam cannot be modernised, the Muslims are attempting to Islamise modernity. This requires spreading Islam in the West and simultaneously preventing any criticism of the cult by intimidation and PC legislation to curtail freedom of expression.

17) Treaties and agreements with Kaffirs are made to be broken (Hudna). The word of a Muslim to a Kafir counts for nothing in the eyes of Allah. Allah is The Father Of Lies.

18) The world is divided between Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb (the domain of war, the Kufr lands). Muslims living in Dar-al-Harb must work to disrupt their host nations until these can be brought into Dar-al-Islam.

19) Muslims have no obligation to their host nations and in fact are encouraged to parasitise them. Welfare fraud, identity theft, forgery etc are endemic in Western Muslim populations, and serious crime against Kaffirs is regarded as normal and justified. Extortion rackets against Kafirs are mandated by the Koran ('jizya' is the Arabic term for 'protection money' payable by Jews and Christians to Muslims).

20) The attack on the host nation isn't just against its religion and economy, but is aimed at its very cultural identity. Islam is a complete system, including a culture, which Muslims regard as superior (despite all evidence to the contrary) to other cultures. Muslims are therefore required to destroy the symbols of 'Jahiliya' (sometimes sp. Jahiliyya) - non-Muslim culture. In the East this has included destruction of Hindu temples and Christian churches and replacement with mosques, and destruction of Buddhist artwork and universities and replacement with heaps of rubble. This process of cultural replacement is now beginning in the West..

Sandalstraps said...

Well I'm glad to see that our long-winded essentially annonymous friend has such a keen understanding of a complex religion and its context in history! I especially love his/her charity and understanding, as well as his/her ability to construct fair, honest, and thorough arguments.

All sarcasm aside, I wonder how someone who offers no evidence for such bold and inflammatory assertions plans on persuading anyone. Liam, I hate to suggest this, but I think that you should delete that last comment, and this one.

religion of pieces said...

Dear sandalstraps, to paraphrase Trotsky 'You may not be interested in Jihad, but Jihad is interested in YOU!

Evidence for the assertions can be found by googling. Most points have (implicit) keywords (or combinations ) which can be googled to produce independent supporting information eg 'Mohammed pedophile', 'Meccan Medinan violence', 'Islam meteorite-worship', 'koran abrogation'(for illogicality see 'Islam comic book'), 'Islam thighing' ,'kafir/kaffir/kuffar najis', 'Islam slavery', "Allah leads astray whom he pleases"
, 'Islam Golden Rule', 'Mohammed Ayesha or Aisha', 'Islam honor shame', 'shaheed intercede 70 relatives', 'taqiyya', 'SJS sudden jihad syndrome', 'hudna', 'Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb', 'jizya', 'Jahiliya'.

Don't believe any of the 20 points until you have investigated them for yourself. Go ahead - search on these words or similar (or a representative sample) for information rejecting / supporting the above assertions.

Explore the truth. It may not set you free, but it will certainly give you a better appreciation of your impending dhimmitude.

Liam said...

Sandalstraps, one is tempted to delete comments like this, but I think I have to be pushed a bit more farther before I do so.

Pieces,
I actually responded to your first post, but either I or blogger made a mistake and the comment didn't appear. My basic point was that I try to dialog with anyone who is gracious enough to visit my blog, but your comment is so hateful and misinformed that it pushes my limits.

I am not surprised that you suggested googling those terms as a way to find "the truth." That explains your information. The internet is a wonderful thing for someone who understands its limits, but it also can enable any kind of misinformation to spread like wildfire.

Your ideas about Islam are as convincing to me as medieval accusations about Jews and blood libel or accusations in late antiquity that early Christians engaged in canibalism and orgies.

I challenged you in my lost comment, as I do now, to give me a reference to a book by a respected scholar of Islamic studies that has been recieved well in its field, and that backs up your claims. If you do so, I will eat my words. Otherwise, please inform yourself in a responsible manner.

religion of pieces said...

Title: Islam and Dhimmitude
ISBN: 0838639429
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
Author(s): Bat Ye'or


Title: The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam
ISBN: 0838636888
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press
Author(s): Bat Ye'Or


Title: Onward Muslim Soldiers
ISBN: 0895261006
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Author(s): Robert Spencer



Title: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades)
ISBN: 0895260131
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Author(s): Robert Spencer


Title: Why I Am Not a Muslim
ISBN: 0-87975-984-4
Publisher: Prometheus
Author(s): Ibn Warraq [pseud.]



Title: :Jihad in the West
ISBN: 1-57392-247-1
Publisher: Prometheus
Author(s): Paul Fregosi


Title: Women and the Koran
ISBN: 1-57392-162-9
Publisher: Prometheus
Author: Anwar Hekmat


Also the BIG QUESTION. How much reliance can we place on religious revelation channelled through Muhammad if his character is as described by the noted Islamic scholar Robert Spencer in his latest book ‘The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion’ ?
ISBN#: 9781596980281 Publ Regnery

Book Description
In this startling new book, New York Times bestselling author Robert Spencer, provides a warts-and-all portrait of the Prophet of Islam and draws out what his life implies for reforming Islam and repulsing Islamic terrorists. Spencer relies solely on primary sources considered reliable by Muslims and evaluates modern biographies to show how Muhammad has been changed for Western audiences, lulling them into consoling but false conclusions.

From the Inside Flap
Muhammad: a frank look at his influential (and violent) life and teachings
In The Truth about Muhammad, New York Times bestselling author and Islam expert Robert Spencer offers an honest and telling portrait of the founder of Islam-perhaps the first such portrait in half a century-unbounded by fear and political correctness, unflinching, and willing to face the hard facts about Muhammad's life that continue to affect our world today.
From Muhammad's first "revelation" from Allah (which filled him with terror that he was demonpossessed) to his deathbed (from which he called down curses upon Jews and Christians), it's all here-told with extensive documentation from the sources that Muslims themselves consider most reliable about Muhammad.
Spencer details Muhammad's development from a preacher of hellfire and damnation into a political and military leader who expanded his rule by force of arms, promising his warriors luridly physical delights in Paradise if they were killed in his cause. He explains how the Qur'an's teaching on warfare against unbelievers developed-with constant war to establish the hegemony of Islamic law as the last stage.
Spencer also gives the truth about Muhammad's convenient "revelations" justifying his own licentiousness; his joy in the brutal murders of his enemies; and above all, his clear marching orders to his followers to convert non-Muslims to Islam-or force them to live as inferiors under Islamic rule.
In The Truth about Muhammad, you'll learn
- The truth about Muhammad's multiple marriages (including one to a nine-year-old) - How Muhammad set legal standards that make it virtually impossible to prove rape in Islamic countries - How Muhammad's example justifies jihad and terrorism - The real "Satanic verses" incident (not the Salman Rushdie version) that remains a scandal to Muslims - How Muhammad's faulty knowledge of Judaism and Christianity has influenced Islamic theology--and colored Muslim relations with Jews and Christians to this day.
Recognizing the true nature of Islam, Spencer argues, is essential for judging the prospects for largescale Islamic reform, the effective prosecution of the War on Terror, the democracy project in Afghanistan and Iraq, and immigration and border control to protect the United States from terrorism.
All of which makes it crucial for every citizen (and policymaker) who loves freedom to read and ponder The Truth about Muhammad.

religion of pieces said...

...and here are some quotes from the Koran itself. You can't get more authoritative than that..

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23367137-details/Is+this+what+they+mean+by+%22Muslim+tolerance'/article.do

Liam said...

Robert Spencer is not a scholar trained in Islamic studies. He has an MA in religious studies, the thesis of which he wrote on early Christianity. He runs a thinktank called "Jihadwatch," which is part of David Horowitz's McCarthyite "Freedom Center." His books are published by right-wing organizations, not by academic presses:
http://www.unc.edu/courses/2004spring/reli/026/001/spencer.htm

The only books on your list published by an academic press are by a Frenchwoman who writes under the pseudonym "Bat Ye'or," and of whose book "The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam," Sidney H Griffith, professor of the Catholic University, says in his review in the "International Journal of Middle East Studies," "The problems one has with the book are basically twofold: the theoretical inadequacy of the interpretive concepts jihad and dhimmitude, as they are employed here; and the want of historical method in the deployment of the documents which serve as evidence for the conclusions reached in the study... in spite of the fact that she has raised an issue that deserves study, Bat Ye'or has written a polemical tract, not responsible historical analysis." (Vol. 30 (1998), pp. 619-621).

Jeff said...

Liam,

I think it’s fair to say that your correspondent holds a more contemptuous view of Islam than either Pope Benedict, or even Rev. Joseph Fessio does. There is a certain subset of traditionalists who are in the unenviable position of having to defend what they wish Benedict had meant rather than what he really meant.

If Benedict has said himself that “This was a quote from a medieval text which does not express in any way my personal thoughts”, has indicated in other venues that he adheres firmly to the spirit and letter of Nostra Aetate, and that while he has concerns about terrorism, he admires many aspects of Islam, then the correspondent should have more of a problem with Benedict than he does with you.

http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/
blog/2006/09/
so-what-does-pope-benedict-xvi-think.html

Furthermore, he’d have to be in league with certain groups of schsimatics or sedevacantists who condemn Mother Teresa as an indifferentist for having said:

I love all religions and am in love with my own…

Christians, Muslims, Hindus, believers and nonbelievers
have the opportunity with us to do works of love
have the opportunity with us to share the joy of
loving and come to realize God's presence.
Hindus become better Hindus.
Catholics become better Catholics.
Muslims become better Muslims.

Liam said...

Hi Jeff.
There are, I am sad to say, a number of Christians both Catholic and not that seem to relish conflict between Christianity and Islam (these are people who use the first person plural when talking about medieval crusaders). The pope, as much as I wish he were warmer on the interfaith issue than he is, is not one of them.

Eboo Patel, whom I spoke about in my post of Sept. 5, had a similar attitude to Mother Teresa. Thanks for the quote.

religion of pieces said...

Islam is not a religion. Religions attempt to bring out the best in people, wheareas a Death Cult does this ... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1130760/posts

Liam said...

Okay, ROP, I'm cutting you off. My patience has worn thin, your information is wrong, your sources are not credible and you're insulting one of the great religions of the world, a religion that is 1400 years old and has more than a billion faithful. You don't know what you're talking about, and the odds are I will delete any more hateful comments you leave on my blog.

religion of pieces said...

Further to my recent ‘20 facts of Islam’ comments. Here are the points justified with supporting links:

Twenty facts that every infidel should know about Islam:

Islam ...

1) Is a mind-control and information-control cult founded by a murderer, torturer, brigand, rapist and pedophile called Mohammed. The mind-control and information-control aspects require that all criticism be silenced.

- Mind and information control:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/cultorreligion.htm ,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/07/11/do1102.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/07/11/ixhome.html ,
http://www.hvk.org/articles/1102/154.html ,
http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-questions.htm ,

- Mohammed's criminality:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/challenge.htm , http://www.angelfire.com/de/knowledgeoftruth/muhammed.html , http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/playboy.html , http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/libido.html ,

- Mohammed’s pedophilia:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27975,
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Saifullah/aishahage.htm ,

- Silencing criticism:
http://www.domini.org/openbook/australia200309012.htm ,
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2058502,00.html ,
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/321 ,




2) Is Mohammed's personality cult. Has no foundations other than Mo's murderous rantings (Koran and Hadith). The Koran consists of two conflicting parts - Meccan and Medinan (peaceful and violent respectively). The Medinan stuff supersedes ('abrogates') the Meccan stuff. Muslims act Medinan, but quote Meccan verses to the gullible infidels.

- Mohammed as a cult leader:
http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/sina50218.htm ,
http://www.faithfreedom.org/faq/67.htm ,
http://www.humanists.net/alisina/cult_or_religion.htm ,

- Meccan and Medinan verses:
http://jimball.com.au/features/Myth-of-moderate-Islam.htm , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/madinasuras.shtml ,
http://www.aijac.org.au/review/2006/31-10/essay31-10.htm ,




3) Claims to worship the same God as Christians and Jews, but in fact worships Allah - a demonic channelling through Mohammed's psychopathic ego. The Death Cult mixes garbled travesties of Christian and Jewish scriptures with pagan practices such as moon and meteorite-worship, and cut-throat blood sacrifice of animals and non-believers.

- Allah and God:
http://www.family.org/cforum/fosi/islam/faqs/a0029179.cfm , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/nothingincommon.shtml ,
http://answering-islam.org.uk/Silas/founders.htm , http://www.blessedcause.org/Quran.htm ,

- Origins of the koran :
http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/001202.php, http://www.ninetyandnine.com/Archives/20020211/review.htm , http://www.prophetofdoom.net/chapter.aspx?g=401&i=41003 , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/inventionofislam.shtml ,

- Allah's pagan daughters:
http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-allahs-daughters.htm , http://notendur.centrum.is/~snorrigb/fem4.htm ,


- Meteorite worship:
http://www.meteorite.fr/en/basics/history.htm,
http://answering-islam.org.uk/Gilchrist/Vol1/7d.html ,
http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-meteorite-worship.htm ,
http://www.ccs-hk.org/DM/Islam.html, http://www.haberer-meteorite.de/english/Culture%20and%20religion.htm ,

- Animal sacrifice to Allah:
http://www.renaissance.com.pk/JanIslamiShari12y5.htm ,
http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/skm60117.htm ,

- Human sacrifice to Allah:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13371, http://diodon349.com/Attacking_USA/see_islamic_terrorists_for_the_satanic_etc_they_are.htm , http://www.slate.com/id/2103261/ ,
http://www.cdn-friends-icej.ca/antiholo/pearl.html , http://washingtontimes.com/national/20040624-121737-2912r.htm , http://www.asianews.it/view.php?l=en&art=1501 ,
http://www.bangladesh-web.com/view.php?hidDate=2004-07-14&hidType=OPT&hidRecord=0000000000000000014248 ,





4) Has no rational, philosophical nor theological basis, and the whole belief-system is contradicted by science, philosophy, commonsense, human decency and internal inconsistency.

- Flat earth:
http://trisagionseraph.tripod.com/flatearth.html ,
http://www.fixedearth.com/koran.html

- Contradictions in the koran:
http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/ , http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/islam.html , http://www.geocities.com/lone_wolf_gc/earth_shape.html , http://www.carm.org/islam/Koran_contradictions.htm ,
http://www.lwbc.co.uk/koran.htm ,




5) Cannot withstand rational criticism. Can only spread and maintain itself by ignorance, illiteracy, war, terrorism, and intimidation. Islam has bloody borders and cannot co-exist peacefully with other belief systems. Winston Churchill said that Islam in a man is as dangerous as hydrophobia (rabies) in a dog.

- Irrationalism:
http://www.mercatornet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=371 ,
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=bc48fb82-d9f0-43d5-b28d-68a1a7e1c804 ,
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5901 ,

- Islamic intellectual achievements:
http://www.masada2000.org/nobel.html ,
http://www.meforum.org/article/306 ,

- Intimidation against criticism and apostasy:
http://www.danielpipes.org/article/2218 ,
http://www.islamreview.com/articles/islamapostasy.shtml ,

- Bloody borders:
http://chromatism.net/bloodyborders/ ,

- Intrinsically violent:
http://www.israelnewsagency.com/al-quaedaterrorismus10012.html , http://www.bibletranslation.ws/islam.html ,
http://radicalacademy.com/gegeorgeirbe12b.htm ,
http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1172035.html , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/jihadholywarversesinthekoran.shtml , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/poorislamists.shtml , http://www.angelfire.com/moon/yoelnatan/koranwarpassages.htm , http://www.citizensoldier.org/winthewar.html ,

- Churchill:
http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/read_churchill_islam.html ,




6) Has a superstitious dread of images of pigs, crosses, Buddhas, Saint George (and his flag) and of course Motoons.

- Buddhas, crosses and teddy bears: http://www.guardian.co.uk/saudi/story/0,11599,1109291,00.html , http://activistchat.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=663,

- Pigs:
http://www.derbygripe.co.uk/arbor.htm,
http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/Piggy-banks-offend-UK-Muslims/2005/10/24/1130006056771.html , http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,939398,00.html , http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=32749 , http://www.masada2000.org/bacon.html , http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/08/20/suicide.bombers/ , http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=24691 ,

- Toonophobia:
http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/000783.html http://thestudyofrevenge.blogspot.com/2006/01/portrait-of-prophet-muhammad.html ,

- Saint George:
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/10/04/britain.redcross/index.html , http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/011163.php ,




7) Regards Islamic women as semihuman. Wife-beating, incest and child abuse (including mufa’khathat or 'thighing' - the ritual abuse of infants) are encouraged.

- Treatment of women:
http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/women.html , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/sexinislam.htm ,
http://www.nospank.net/demause5.htm ,

- Infant abuse and ‘thighing’:
http://islamstrueface.blogspot.com/2005/07/more-on-pedopheliaand-thighing.html , http://kenlydell.typepad.com/islamic_evil/muslim_sexual_perversion/index.html , http://www.homa.org/Details.asp?View=Detail&ContentID=2137352826&TOCID=2083225445 ,
http://www.hinduunity.org/articles/islamexposed/excerptsayatollah.html ,




8) Regards all unbelievers (Kaffirs, Kuffar, Kufrs, Kafirs) as ritually unclean subhumans to be killed, subjugated, enslaved, exploited or parasitised. Kafirs are described by the Arabic word 'najis' - literally 'filth'. That's why Muslim hatred of Kafirs is intrinsic to their 'religion'. A Kafir doesn't need to DO anything to offend a Muslim, his very existence is enough of an affront.

- Najis kafirs:
http://www.al-islam.org/laws/najisthings.html ,
http://cartoonazi.blogspot.com/2006/09/disgusting-filthy-najis-things.html , http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/006589.php ,

- Treatment of kafirs:
http://www.flex.com/~jai/satyamevajayate/kafir.html ,

- Enslavement of kaffirs:
http://answering-islam.org/Silas/slavery.htm ,
http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/7016 , http://www.islamreview.com/articles/neitherblacknorafrican.shtml ,




9) The ethical system applies only to Muslims. Allah encourages rape, pillage, extortion and enslavement of non-Muslims. Morality does not extend beyond the global gang (ummah). Muslim ethics are the ethics of the Mafia.

- Loyalty to the Ummafia
http://sixthcolumn.blogspot.com/2005/07/how-could-they-our-british-friends-ask.html , http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/003123.html ,

- Massacre, rape, pillage and enslavement: http://www.hinduunity.org/articles/islamexposed/prophetterror3.html , http://www.bereanpublishers.com/Cults/Muslims/truth_about_islam_by_dave_hunt.htm ,




10) Allah's followers are motivated by hatred, greed and lust. There is no love, mercy or compassion. Allah is vindictive, unpredictable, capricious and devious - "Allah leads astray whom he pleases".

- Hate cult:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27938 ,
http://www.iranian.ws/cgi-bin/iran_news/exec/view.cgi/2/3626 , http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/003119.php ,

- Women as plunder:
http://www.warriorsfortruth.com/news-jerry-falwell-mohammed.html ,

- Barbarism:
http://www.howardbloom.net/islam.htm ,
http://www.coranix.com/beastycult.htm ,

- Allah - Father of Lies:
http://www.bethmessiah.com/david.htm ,
http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/allah_deceiver.htm ,


11) The only religion NOT founded on The Golden Rule. Morality is based on Mohammed's example. If Mohammed did it then it's OK for all Muslims. Hence the encouragement of rape, pillage, subjugation and murder of non-believers and the institutionalised pedophilia prevalent throughout Muslim society (justified by Mohammed's activities with Ayesha, his child sex-slave - see and listen to http://islamcomicbook.com/lyrics1.htm).

- Golden Rule:
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/005959.php ,
http://www.faithfreedom.org/debates/YaminZakariap8.htm ,

- Mohammed as the example of ‘the perfect man’: http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/News/Trifkovic04/NewsST091304.html , http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/003416.php ,

- Institutionalised pedophilia:
http://www.cathud.com/LINKS/pages_GL/Islam.htm ,
http://www.nospank.net/glazov.htm ,
http://www.blessedquietness.com/alhaj/page20.htm , http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/002006.php ,

- Jihadic rape:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1227317/posts ,
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=20646 ,
http://fjordman.blogspot.com/2005/12/immigrant-rape-wave-in-sweden.html ,




12) All human relations are defined by Dominance/Subjugation. Muslims have schizoid inferiority/superiority complexes. (A well-balanced Muslim is one with a chip on each shoulder). They respect strength but despise compromise as weakness. Appeasement invites more aggression. The only political system which has been strong enough to subjugate Islam is Stalinism.

- Honor/shame, dominance and subjugation:
http://shrinkwrapped.blogs.com/blog/2006/01/warning_shots.html , http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2005/08/shame-arab-psyche-and-islam.html , http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/TOXICVAL.HTM ,

- Inferiority complex:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1072-2359800,00.html ,

- Appeasement:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13284 ,




13) Polygamy ensures alpha-males get extra women, leading to a shortage of women for the betas. Beta-males must either jerk off (a sin leading to hell), or form dog-packs and rape or capture kafir women as booty in a razzia, or else self-destruct in the presence of infidels then they can screw 72 mythical virgins in Allah's bordello in the sky (see and listen to http://islamcomicbook.com/lyrics3.htm). Beta-males are often encouraged by their relatives to become suicide bombers because of the belief that such murderous 'martyrs' will be able to intercede with Allah to take 70 of their relatives to paradise with them.

- Polygamy and Jihad:
http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleID.18649/article_detail.asp ,

- Muslim rape:
http://kenlydell.typepad.com/islamic_evil/muslim_rape/index.html ,

- Paradise:
http://muhammadanism.org/Terrorism/Terrorist_Mind.htm , http://www.factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000079.html ,

- Bomber’s relatives go to paradise:
http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=128 , http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=countries&Area=palestinian&ID=IA6101 ,



14) Lying and deception of infidels (taqiyya) is encouraged. This may take many forms, including outright lies, feigned moderation, and condemnation of terrorist attacks to the Kaffir while rejoicing with fellow Muslims. All Muslims need to regard themselves as victims of some group of Kafirs so they can harbor grudges against them and against Kafirs in general. Individuals may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and must be considered potential killers who can flip in an instant (SJS -'Sudden Jihad Syndrome').

- Taqiyya:
http://www.freeman.org/m_online/dec97/phares.htm ,
http://www.islamreview.com/articles/nikah.shtml ,
http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/3518 , http://www.faithfreedom.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=178 , http://hauns.com/~DCQu4E5g/koran5.html ,
http://www.ci-ce-ct.com/Feature%20articles/02-12-2002.asp ,

- Muslim victimology
http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina/Islamic_victimization.htm , http://www.iranian.com/Opinion/2002/March/Victim/index.html , http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/europes_politics_of_victimolog.html ,

- SJS
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21630 , http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SJS , http://lostbudgie.blogspot.com/2006/03/sudden-jihad-syndrome.html , http://jihadwatch.org/archives/011114.php ,


15) Muslims are forbidden to befriend Kaffirs except for purposes of deceit or where conversion may be possible.

http://www.islamreview.com/articles/whoareinfidels.shtml , http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/25283 ,




16) The Koran is Allah's final word and cannot be changed or challenged. To do so is punishable by death. Consequently, the Death Cult can never change or be reformed. The instructions to murder and rape infidels are just as valid now as the day they were written. Since Islam cannot be modernised, the Muslims are attempting to Islamise modernity. This requires spreading Islam in the West and simultaneously preventing any criticism of the cult by intimidation and PC legislation to curtail freedom of expression.

- Koran as literal word of Allah:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4048586,00.html ,

- Koranic principles of jihad:
http://www.israelnewsagency.com/Al-Qaeda.html ,

- Intimidation and censorship: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/12/11/do1101.xml , http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17523 , http://www.atheists.org/Islam/violenceinbritain.html ,
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=3674 ,


17) Treaties and agreements with Kaffirs are made to be broken (Hudna). The word of a Muslim to a Kafir counts for nothing in the eyes of Allah. Allah is The Father Of Lies.

- Hudna:
http://jihadwatch.org/archives/004085.php , http://www.middleeastinfo.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=8365 ,



18) The world is divided between Dar-al-Islam and Dar-al-Harb (the domain of war, the Kufr lands). Muslims living in Dar-al-Harb must work to disrupt their host nations until these can be brought into Dar-al-Islam.

- Dar al Harb and the Umma:
http://www.islamreview.com/articles/hatredinislam.shtml , http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=2601 ,
http://www.ucg.org/commentary/madridbombings.htm ,



19) Muslims have no obligation to their host nations and in fact are encouraged to parasitise them. Welfare fraud, identity theft, forgery etc are endemic in Western Muslim populations, and serious crime against Kaffirs is regarded as normal and justified. Extortion rackets against Kafirs are mandated by the Koran ('jizya' is the Arabic term for 'protection money' payable by Jews and Christians to Muslims).

- Subversion and disloyalty:
http://answering-islam.org/Terrorism/agenda.html , http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC07.php?CID=13 , http://igst.blogspot.com/2006/02/muslim-leaders-and-subversion-of.html , http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/7681 , http://www.annaqed.com/under/muslims_reaction_to_suicide_bombings.html ,

- Parasitism:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2004591199,00.html ,
http://niconoclast.blogspot.com/2006/08/parasitic-islam.html ,
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1720770/postshttp://pedestrianinfidel.blogspot.com/2006/06/parasitic-fifth-column-works-jizya-and.html ,
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18399 ,

- Jizya extortion
http://pweb.netcom.com/~us_copts/protection.html ,
http://answering-islam.org.uk/Silas/juancole.htm , http://www.faithfreedom.org/debates/looting51122p3.htm , http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/008904.php , http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/23932 , http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21082 , http://kenlydell.typepad.com/islamic_evil/muslim_intolerance/index.html ,

- The Muslims as a liability and welfare dependence:
http://www.islamreview.com/articles/westsunmanageable.shtml , http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/011958.php , http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2006/10/migrants_told_t.php ,



20) The attack on the host nation isn't just against its religion and economy, but is aimed at its very cultural identity. Islam is a complete system, including a culture, which Muslims regard as superior (despite all evidence to the contrary) to other cultures. Muslims are therefore required to destroy the symbols of 'Jahiliya' (sometimes sp. Jahiliyya) - non-Muslim culture. In the East this has included destruction of Hindu temples and Christian churches and replacement with mosques, and destruction of Buddhist artwork and universities and replacement with heaps of rubble. This process of cultural replacement is now beginning in the West..

- Destruction of Hindu and Buddhist Culture:
http://hindutva.org/babrimasjid.html ,
http://www.doncroner.com/India/Nalanda/nalanda.html ,
http://www.indiastar.com/wallia15.htm , http://65.18.218.137/genocide/ , http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/LJWalker30916.htm , http://www.hvk.org/specialarts/ichr/articles/0001.html ,

- Attacks on Christian Culture: http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/islam/moslems_firebomb_english_church_during_islam_awareness_week.htm ,
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=13340 ,
http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/10235 ,
http://www.westernresistance.com/blog/archives/003011.html ,
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,214195,00.html