People just can’t seem to help it. Not even the Pope can avoid it. It? Offending Muslims and fomenting violence. Even though, superficially, the problem is at the latter point, the real issue is the former.
Who has “unleashed a torrent of rage”? Whose “provocation” could leave “even deeper scars”? Whose “derogatory” comments were an attempt to “revive the mentality of the crusades,” someone who belongs in the same category as Hitler and Mussolini? If you guessed, “The Islamic terrorists who are firebombing Orthodox[!] and Anglican[!] churches,” you’d be wrong. It’s the Pope, of course.
Nevermind that “his” comments weren’t his, but the comments of a Byzantine emperor in a debate with a Muslim. Nevermind that he was not approving or agreeing with the comments on violence, since his talk was on God and reason. Nevermind that the current violence and rumors of violence seem to bear out “his” comments (which, again, were not his comments). Nevermind all that. Say you’re sorry and we won’t assasinate you when you come to Turkey! (We’re a peaceful religion. Until the next time you make us mad.) Which explains (or not) the irrationality of the following comments by the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party:
“The world today needs all religious authorities to cooperate to curb the phenomenon of violence,” it said. “We urge all Christian religious authorities in both the Arab and Western world not to be involved in the confrontation against the Islamic world as it could lead to Muslim-Christian violence, God forbid.”
Shall we parse that? How about, first of all, cooperating to curb the “phenomenon of violence” of your own people? Who is the instigator of violence, the one who speaks or the one who firebombs? Surely they can’t really mean “Muslim and Christian violence”? When was the last time someone firebombed a mosque because Muslim clerics were preaching hatred of Christianity? Who is trying to revive the mentality of the Crusades, again? God forbid, indeed. (We’ll just have to check on which “God” forbids firebombing of those with whom you disagree.)
The real question is not why Muslims firebombed churches, but why don’t the Orthodox, psychologists, sociologists, and evolutionists blow up the Vatican, all of whom were addressed in a more or less negative way in the talk? Perhaps the Pope’s speech on rational behavior and its association with godliness has more to do with the outcome of his remarks than just a few quoted lines.