Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's interesting to sit back and watch the reaction to Pope Benedict XVI's now-infamous speech about religion, violence, and reason continue to unfold. Many Muslims, still not seeming to have read the speech or understand the point the Pope was making, continue to prove the essential peacefulness and non-violence of their religion by rioting and burning the Pope in effigy, and the "Mujaheddin Shura Council," a loose group of Muslim extremists which includes al Qaeda in Iraq, has said in a web posting that "...We will break up the cross, spill the liquor, impose the head tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (death by) the sword."

There is, as of yet, no particular evidence that Benedict's remarks are making Muslims look closely at their religion and understand its relationship to the rest of the world. Instead, Muslims around the world remain hypersensitive to real or perceived insults...of the sort they routinely heap on Christians and Jews.

I'd like to think that this sad episode will lead to improved understanding among the world's great monotheistic religions, but it's unlikely to happen. The Muslim reaction to the Pope's remarks has proved his point that religion and reason must work together...and has clearly demonstrated what happens when they do not.

Unless this mess takes an unexpected turn in the next day or two, I think I've probably said all I can profitably say about it. More thoughts, on different topics, tomorrow.

Have a good day.


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