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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Look who's talking ...

The Pope's trying to wiggle out of the mess by stating (legally correctly) that what he expressed was not his opinion but of some person he was 'quoting'. While many Muslims and non-Muslims, even Atheists, have some right to pooh-poohing this lame excuse - (after all, of a zillion possible quotations available, why did he need to use this?) - there's one person, at least, who cannot fault this logic.

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Anonymous Ajmal Kamal said...

We Muslims seem to be saying: If anyone dares to say that Islam encourages violence, we'll kill him!

Gideon Rachman write in the Financial Times (18 September 2006): "The rituals of the “clash of civilisations” are by now well established. Somebody somewhere in the west “insults Islam” – Salman Rushdie writes a book; a Danish paper publishes a cartoon; the Pope makes a speech – and the demonstrators take to the streets. What better way to prove that Islam is a religion of peace than to burn the Pope in effigy?"

The matter does not, of course, end there. "Islamic believers are so horrified at it that they are burning churches and shot one 60 year-old Italian nun in the back."

The fact is that many people have been (stll are and always will be) of the opinion that Islam was spread by violent means. Muslims, who obviously do not subscribe to this view, cannot make this differing opinion disappear from the world. Those people think that it is their right to express their opinion. So what should Muslims do?

Silencing everone is hardly an option. Muslims can extract an apology (however ambivalent) from the Pope, but what can they do with the thousands of books and websites in which this opinion (as other disturbing opinions about Islam, its hostory and Muslims) is openly expressed? It is beyond the power of Muslims to gag all of them. So, why not try and learn to live with the opposite views? Why not request the Bavarian university to arrange for a lecture by an Islam scholar who could present the countering view?

Ever since the Pope Benedict has delivered his lecture at the university, everyone has been lecturing him that he should have been more careful, as if burning churches, killing nuns and issuing death threats is a natural response which everyone should try to avoid.

You may or may not be aware that the Madrassas in Karachi have replaced the term "jihad fi sabil'llah" with "qital fi sabil'llah" as the former was open to interpretations that "jihad" could be cariied out by peaceful means as well while the the latter literally means "to kill in the name of Allah". The respectable Islamic scholars quote some authentic ahadith in favoure of this view. Where is your protest at this misrepresentation, if you think it is a misrepresentation of the Islamic faith?

20 September, 2006 11:14

Anonymous Rabayl said...

The pope was not quoting just anyone but that 'someone' was a very prominent 14th century scholar and the quote, however inflammatory it was, was said in a certain context of the Pope's speech. Unfortunately most of us just look at the provocative lines and don't read the whole of the speech where the pope is trying to make a certain point (though he fails badly).
Perhaps you should look into this comment:

and read this article:

There are always two sides to a story.

20 September, 2006 18:50

Blogger Zakintosh said...

@ajmal kamal:

LOL for "If anyone dares to say that Islam encourages violence, we'll kill him!"

However, to "Where is your protest at this misrepresentation, if you think it is a misrepresentation of the Islamic faith?" - I do not think it is a misrepresentation any more than any other view is. I have no idea why/how one can vest more authority for representation in one interpreter than in any other. Nothing in my understanding of Islam gives this authority to anyone. On the other hand members of some Muslim sects have officially appointed 'heads'.

Incidentally the specific phrase you are referring to has a history of confusion in related areas, anyway, which is outside the pale of this discussion.


i am fully aware that the someone was not just anyone. in fact no one is just anyone. the scholar and the circumstances are also clear, if not from the speech (and, btw, i read all of it) before my comments in this or the previous post. my objection was not to the provocation (i was certainly not provoked into any anger by the oft-repeated charge of islam having been spread by the sword) but to the gross insensitivity and stupidity of the pope in not taking into account the damage that such a statement would do. the fact that muslims riot at the drop of a hat should have been taken into account. after all, if you encountered a madman at a crossing who was pelting stones at passersby, would you not take a more circuitous route?

21 September, 2006 09:17

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24 September, 2006 10:59

Blogger Zakintosh said...

Muhammad's Sword by Uri Avnery is a good piece on the subject. If you have not read it yet, go to

26 September, 2006 10:29

Anonymous en-light-ened woman said...

@zakintosh: That article was the best piece of Moslem-arse licking in a while. I am surprised at YOU referring to it and saying it is GOOD.

10 October, 2006 18:06


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