I was going to write something substantial on the brouhaha over Pope Benedict’s words calling for a both Faith and Reason to enter into inter-culture dialogues. However, I am just too weary of the whole thing. Wesley Pruden in today’s Washington Times sums up my thoughts:
Benedict reminds his hysterical critics that he merely quoted the Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Palaeologus, much as he might have cited Hitler, Stalin or even Godzilla: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and then you shall find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith that he preached." He did not say, as some of the Muslim hysterics are saying he said, that Mohammed was evil. Even the emperor, however much he might have thought it, did not say that. It was the spreading of the faith by the sword that is evil. Who but a crazed jihadist would argue with that? "Faith" by the sword is an oxymoron, anyway, since faith, like love, is embraced only willingly and held as private and precious in the secret places of the heart. This is the essential difference between the heartfelt Christianity of the Bible and the cold, severe Islam of the Koran.
The pope's point, clear enough to everyone but people who riot for a living, is that reason and truth are under siege, and he wants to rescue them and put them once more to work in the public arena where reasonable truth-seekers can argue, debate, dispute and contend, and depart with their scimitars sheathed.
There is just no way to prettify the Muslim outrage over the Pope’s invitation to dialogue. No amount of politically correct gibberish can justify this outpouring of hate. The radical Islamists who control all power in the Muslim world will not be appeased until every non-Muslim is killed or subjugated. While there may be “moderate” Muslims, their influence is minimal and ineffective. Instead of whining about how Muslims are so mistreated in the United States, perhaps CAIR could strongly condemn the radical behavior of Muslims that trigger anti-Muslim sentiment. Their support for this behavior makes it hard to take their complaints seriously.