Published by Jason
on Monday, September 18, 2006 at 9/18/2006 10:32:00 AM.
Protests over the Pope Benedict XVI's recent speech continued today, with crowds in Basra burning effigies of the pope. The uproar stems, of course, from the Pope's quoting of Manuel II Paleologus, a 14th-century Byzantine emperor: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Although the premise of his speech was that religion should not be spread by violence, I have to question the Pope's wisdom in using a quote so likely deemed incendiary by many in the Middle East (especially when the Pope represents an institution connected with the Crusades.)
Nonetheless, one would assume that for an Islamic group to take offense to the quote, they would have to practice their religion peacefully. However, in an internet statement today, an al Qaeda-linked group proclaimed, "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 . . . We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (killed by) the sword."
Further proof that "Middle East peace talks" is the most absurd phrase in the English language.