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The Pope Disrupts Religious Harmony By: Julia Gorin
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, September 19, 2006

CAIR’s National Legal Director Arsalan Iftikhar went head to head last week with the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue on MSNBC about the Pope’s quoting 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologos II as saying, “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.”

Amazingly, Iftikhar said that the Pope should “clarify” his statements. A confounding request, considering that Muslims clarify it on a daily basis.

The emperor whom the Pope quoted was speaking to a Persian intellectual about jihad and “the truths of Christianity and Islam.” In other words, we’re still in denial about what they already knew in the 1300s.

It is a matter of some debate whether we’re in World War III or World War IV right now — depending on how you view the Cold War — but Joseph Farah has said that World War I was actually a misnomer, since truly the first world war was between Islam and Christianity. That’s just great, folks: we’re in the prequel.

Reports Reuters: “Pope Benedict XVI’s comments about Islam could hurt religious harmony,” according to government and religious leaders in the world’s most populous Muslim countries, Indonesia and Pakistan.

Of course, the “religious harmony” that the Pope is hurting is the kind that doesn’t allow any Jews on its soil and uses Christians and Jews for target practice and knife sharpening. It’s the harmony of just one religion ruling all the lands. Even if Muslim anger over the comments seems reasonable to those who believe “they’re not all like that,” note that militant Islamic websites are also quite upset with the Pope. Yeah, it kind of sucks when the Pope is catching on. That means others will too.

Or not. After the London bombings, Newsweek ran a cover article titled “The War Within Islam.” The only war within Islam sounds like this: “Maybe we’re moving too fast? Should we pace the bombings out a little more? Are we being too obvious? You think they’re catching on?” “– Nah!”

A British “youth organization” named the Ramadhan Foundation issued a statement reading, “It is essential in today’s world that we link together and encourage a wider understanding of our different faiths, celebrating our religious differences is essential in a ever expanding world.”

Celebrating is ok, but someone needs to tell these folks that they’re not supposed to aim the fireworks at members of the other faiths.

Anyway, watch this backfire on the Jews. Yes, on the Jews. Some are hoping this is a sign that this Pope won’t be kowtowing to Islam the way the previous Pope did, often at Israel’s expense — that the glimmer of understanding of Islam that Benedict displayed will give him a wider understanding of what Israel is dealing with in the belly of the “evil and inhuman” part of the world. They’re kidding themselves, of course. After this experience, Benedict likely will go so far out of his way to “reach out” to Islam that he’ll be an honorary Muslim himself, and will start to take the “Zionist occupation” downright personally. The Vatican already reports that the Pope is “extremely upset” that his words offended Muslim sensibilities.

And no wonder. Violence against the Pope is already being called for. The chief cleric of India’s largest mosque, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, told thousands of worshippers chanting Allahu Akbar, “No Pope has ever tried to attack the glory of Islam like this Pope. Muslims must respond in a manner which forces the Pope to apologize.”

In other words, as AllahPundit summed it up on Hot Air: “Apologize — or else.” (Though I think Bukhari is saying that the “or else” comes first, as a means to extract the apology.)

The Ramadhan Foundation, meanwhile, contrasted the new Pope with the previous one: “The late Pope John Paul II spent over 25 years to build bridges and links with the Muslim community. He showed the world that its perception of Islam was false and that we are peace-loving people.”

Thanks a lot, John.

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