AmP Roundup of the Islamofascist rage against Pope Benedict's comments
"MUSLIM RAGE AGAINST THE POPE" reads the DrudgeReport:
"The furore over comments made by Pope Benedict about the Islamic concept of Holy War continues to grow. Today British Muslims joined in, fiercely criticising his remarks.
The pontiff was accused of falling into "the trap of bigots and racists" with the comments he made on a visit to Germany." [More...]
(The caption to the picture at top reads "Muslim students burn an effigy of Pope Benedict XVI at a protest rally in Allahabad, India ... A growing chorus of Muslim leaders has called on the Pope to apologize for the alleged derogatory comments made by him about Islam." Another picture of the protest here. Update: even more pictures here.)
I'm going to try to keep this post updated with coverage & commentary (despite my busy weekend).
The cause of the controversy:
Read the full text of what Pope Benedict actually said here during his University of Regensburg address on September 12. The main part that has caused furror among Muslims is his quotation from a 14th-century Byzantine emperor (note: not Pope Benedict's own words!):
"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."
As Dom says, "[Pope Benedict] used that quote to reject religious justifications for the spreading of faith through violence. [Pope Benedict] said, “Violence is is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.”
Vatican "damage control":
The new Holy See press office director Federico Lombardi released this statement today:
"Concerning the reaction of Muslim leaders to certain passages of the Holy Father's address at the University of Regensburg, it should be noted that what the Holy Father has to heart - and which emerges from an attentive reading of the text - is a clear and radical rejection of the religious motivation for violence."
"It was certainly not the intention of the Holy Father to undertake a comprehensive study of the jihad and of Muslim ideas on the subject, still less to offend the sensibilities of Muslim faithful." [Full text] [More from CWNews]
Lombardi has already attempted to clarify the Pope's comments on Islam before.
Diogenes of Off The Record claims there is no explaining-away the fact that Pope Benedict is using the quotation to criticize an aspect of the Islamic faith.
- Benedict blunder shows he has failed to master media machine - AFP
- Pope 'meant no offence' to Islam - BBC News
- Turkish Lawmaker Compares Pope to Hitler - AP [Turky is especially cause for concern because Pope Benedict is scheduled to visit there in November]
- Muslim fury grows at Pope's speech - UK Daily Mail
- Pope's speech sparks Muslim anger - UK Telegraph
- Update: Pakistan's parliament condemns Pope - AP
- Muslim fury at pope jihad comments - CNN
- FoxNews is currently running this as its main story, with articles and video.
Catholic press coverage:
- "Pope Benedict trashes jihad, reformation, and liberal Theology" - CNA [not the most helpful of headlines ("trashes"), but a good overview of the Pope's comments]
More St. Blogs commentary:
- Dom Bettinelli: "Although the Pope’s speech was more wide-ranging, that was the money quote that got all the attention. For one thing, the lecture was the only secular event in a week of Masses and prayer services, which meant that reporters really only focused on this one talk. For another thing, any mention of Islam by the leader of the Catholic Church gets major headlines, especially if the mention is a criticism. This has got the Islamic world up in arms, especially considering his trip to Turkey in November..." [More...]
- Update: Dom adds more to his commentary in a second post.
- Amy Welborn: "The "Muslim" response to the Pope ironically and unwittingly answers his question, don't you think?" [More...]
The spotlight is probably going to be on Cardinal Bertone soon. Gee, what a nice first day for work for the new Sectretary of State. These new guys sure have to hit the ground running.
This story will doubtless get worse before it gets better, and I'll try to stay on top of the important developments. Clearly, the violent Muslim protests really only serve to confirm Pope Benedict's quotation about their founder. And hey, they haven't had any flags to burn since Denmark...
But the Papal Flag? Effigies of our Holy Pontiff? That is something very different in my mind.
Update 2: Cardinal Bertone steps into the breach, issues statement (9/16)