Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Violent Protests Continue

Violence continues across Asia in response to the Pope's Regensburg speech (get the story here.)

Reading the above is a pretty sad affair...

Reading the above is a pretty sad affair. And it reminds me of a quote from an article I linked to yesterday:

One columnist, Abdelwahab Al Affendi, ridiculed those who demanded a retraction of the Pope's original remarks.

Mr Al Effendi wrote saying that nothing short of the Pope's converting to Islam will ever assuage the anger of those people!

(From the BBC; emphasis mine.)

Sad as it is, though, it does remind me of something humorous Fr. Richard John Neuhaus quoted in an article over at FIRST THINGS: On the Square:

Somewhat over the top but nonetheless not without interest is the following open letter to the pope from offended Muslims. I assume it is fictional.

Dear Pope Benedict XVI:

We Muslims are not at all violent, not that you said we were, but who needs to read your speech when the local imam, who hasn’t read it either, can tell us what it says? Since peaceful efforts to convince you of our commitment to peace have failed, we hope that the mass riots, burnt effigies, cries of “Death to the Pope!” and a smattering of grenades in assorted churches will exorcise every ghost of the rumor that we are violent, and prove that Mohammed pitched a tent big enough to include interfaith camels. It is hoped that you will rescind your position, even if it wasn’t yours to begin with, lest our peacefulness escalate even further.

While on the subject of humour ... I found this response to an upset Muslim who "truly was a Muslim who valued peace and actually does condemn violence."

“Nothing I say can convince you I am right, and nothing you say can convince me you are right.

Clearly Muslims and Catholics are going to view the Pope's remarks differently. I think our Pope is the Vicar of Christ (the son of God) and speaks the truth. Also remember that the Pope was quoting the Byzantine Emperor, so if the quote has people offended, why don't you just go protest against the nation of Byzantium?

Why don't you guys go picket in front of the imperial palace in Constantinople? Why don't you send a petition to the current emperor? Why don't the heads of state of Muslim nations tell the Byzantine ambassadors in their countries how "insensitive" these remarks were. Heck you could even go protest in front of the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, after all, the man whose words offended you so much was not Catholic but Eastern Orthodox.

The Byzantines are a reasonable people; they have preserved much of the wisdom of the Ancient World, Socrates, Virgil, etc. They have wonderful art and architecture. They are the very epitome of a civilized society. Please lobby your protests against them, I am sure Byzantium and the Muslim world can reach some sort of understanding, a way to co-exist, without further insult.”

I thank Fr. Neuhaus and Fidei Defensor for the laughs. But the "yucks" underscore a deeper point, and that is the rage expressed against the Pope is so ridiculous, what is left for us but to laugh?

No comments: