The Muslim world is in ferment, or even more ferment than usual, as a result of a speech given by Pope Benedict XVI at Regensburg University. Ben took a swipe at the notion that Islam is an inherently peaceable, easy-going, happy-go-lucky credo with a core philosophy that proclaims hey, why not live and let live, huh? Rather, he let slip: “Everything Muhammad brought was evil and inhuman,” which has an agreeably crusading, unequivocal ring to it, I think you’ll agree. He was quoting — as you will be aware — the 14th-century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and in doing so invoked outpourings of loathing from Jakarta to Jeddah.
You can bet your life that by the time you read this, some Catholic priest toiling away in a godforsaken, dusty hellhole — Sudan, perhaps, or Turkey — will have been smacked about a bit, or had his church burnt down or been arrested without charge. The Pope should have been aware that Islam always reacts to western allegations that it is not a peaceful religion by mass outbreaks of vituperation, denunciation and acts of jihadic violence.
That this is a paradox seems not to be even remotely recognised by many Muslims.
“Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence.”
--Tasnim Aslam, Pakistani foreign ministry spokeswoman
I can think of a few words to describe this mindset: acerebral, feebleminded, insecure, moronic, uneducated, unthinking, kooky, preposterous, illogical, unwise, and weak-minded.
That this is the Muslim philosophy on those who criticize Islam is astounding. I can't stop laughing. Are they really saying this with a straight face? "We'll crack anyone in the skull who says we're intolerant!"