As I expected Friday, things are hot, heavy, and hyperbolic regarding the Pope’s statements last week. For instance, it seems that al Qaeda has decided to massacre Christians as a statement against the Pope. (Is this another jihad? How do they keep up with them all?)
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.
“We tell the worshipper of the cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated, as is the case in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya,” said an Internet statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella group led by Iraq’s branch of al Qaeda.
“We shall break the cross and spill the wine. … God will (help) Muslims to conquer Rome. … God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahideen,” said the statement.
Of course, we already knew al Qaeda was nuts, so I’m sure nobody’s surprised by such a statement. But just like the Danish cartoons, this episode goes to a much different level — violent reactions that are justified by, and no doubt created by, leaders of an extremist religious faction.
“Our religion is not violent, and we’ll kill you for saying so” is absolutely unacceptable. Sigh… Polimom’s at an absolute loss here. How can anyone deal with such radical behavior?
So… Did the Pope actually insult Islam? Well… maybe. However, I’m having trouble believing the Pope had no idea how his words would be taken. One would have to have been in sensory deprivation since last year to have avoided the Danish cartoons fiasco, for instance. So if he knew the likely reaction, why would he have said it?
Perhaps he was hoping that Islam itself would draw some internal lines in the sand between the radical extremists and the moderate majority… and I do believe that the majority of Muslims reject the violence.
If they didn’t, then this blogger’s pictures would reflect millions of protesters, not 100.
If they didn’t, we’d have violence flaring all over the United States… but we don’t.
As TMV notes:
What is seemingly getting buried as this controversy rages — and the Al Qaeda group puts it up a notch or two by suggesting violence will be used to punish the Pope for quoting the text that suggested Islam is violent — is the fact that a large number of Muslims who didn’t like his comments accept his apology and are NOT reverting to violence.
Maybe the Pope was trying to let radical Islam prove its own point? If so, I’d say that’s been accomplished.
Whatever the Pope hoped to gain (assuming he did, in fact, know what he was doing), just at the moment I think the most likely “winner” (and that’s really stretching the term) from the reactions to the Pope’s statements will be the GOP. Interesting thought, that.
Meanwhile, the fall-out continues…