Muslims are "outraged" because of the
Pope's speech earlier this week, which associated
their religion with violence.
With an "organised spontaneity" so reminiscent
of these parts, crowds took to the streets to
express their anger.
Throughout the Arab world, baying mobs burned
effigies of the pontiff while carrying placards
bearing legends such as "swine and servant
of the cross", "worships a monkey on
a cross", "hateful evil man" and
Thinly veiled threats have been issued, bibles
burned and Christian churches attacked in the
With breathtaking hypocrisy given their attitude
to Jews, some influential Muslims have even likened
the Pope to the fascist Adolf Hitler.
Irony, it seems, is not something they do!
They aren't too big on consistency either.
If the linking of Islam to violence actually does
cause such deep offence, then one would expect
that Muslims might at least raise an occasional
voice against the suicide bombers, decapitators
and various other mass murderers who regularly
claim the endorsement of Islam for their actions.
Surely, you would think, this kind of thing is
more insulting to the devotees of a supposedly
peaceable religion than anything an aged pontiff
But, apparently not.
In the wake of each new purportedly Allah-endorsed
atrocity, either a collective silence reigns or
mumbled half-excuses are proffered.
Is it any wonder, then, more and more people are
becoming convinced that Islam and violence are
Rather than challenge what is being done in their
name, the leaders of this "peaceable religion"
threaten, bully and attempt to browbeat those
who dare point out how they appear to the rest
The problem is, because it is having the desired
effect, we can expect more of the same.
The craven and mealy-mouthed reaction of much
of the western media and political classes to
both the Danish cartoons and, now, the Pope's
remarks has indicated clearly to these theocratic
Neanderthals that we can be frightened and intimidated.
Progressively, Islam is being treated in the West
exactly how it wants to be treated: as being above
even the slightest criticism.
Freedom of speech has now become a moveable feast.
So, rest assured, as long as it is working the
tactic of terrorising and intimidating into silence
If we do continue acquiescing, how long after
allowing ourselves to be told what we cannot say
before we succumb to demands on what we must say?
Muslim leaders did at least get one thing right
this week: Pope Benedict's remarks about the incompatibility
of violence and God were directed at them.
His quoting of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus'
view that "
everything Mohammad brought
such as his command to spread
by the sword the faith he preached" was to
make perfectly clear who he was referring to -
and to indicate, as well, how little things have
changed during the past seven centuries.
The Pope did us a service this week by pointing
out how, because of the actions of some of its
adherents and the acquiescence of most of the
rest, Islam is viewed beyond its theocratic borders.
By eventually caving into pressure and issuing
statements of apology for his considered remarks,
he left us in an even worse position than we were