Pressure on Pope to apologize to Muslims

  • #51
kyleb
The lack of intellectual rebuttal is an unfortunately yet predictable result of founding and slanderous argument on a flagrant strawman; people often have trouble responding intellectually to such verbal assault.
 
  • #52
Astronuc
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Anttech said:
You havent made your stance clear, did you read the speech, and do you thus believe that the pope within the context of that speech, single out *only* Islam? (Speech not 1 highlighted quote within a whole speech)
Let me make my stance clear - I think the Pope was less than cautious, apparently talking to one audience and not thinking about others.

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on-- perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara-- by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both. It was probably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than the responses of the learned Persian.

The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship of the three Laws: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Qur'an. In this lecture I would like to discuss only one point-- itself rather marginal to the dialogue itself-- which, in the context of the issue of faith and reason, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the jihad (holy war). The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: There is no compulsion in religion. It is one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat.

But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels,” he turns to his interlocutor somewhat brusquely with the central question on the relationship between religion and violence in general, in these words:

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.

The emperor goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.

God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death....

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature. The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: "For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality." Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazn went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practice idolatry.
A translation of the Pope's speech - http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=46474

God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death....
:rolleyes: The Pope did not bother to mention that the Catholic Church and some Protestant denominations did use violence and threats against Jews and others non-traditional Christians. :rolleyes:

Refer to John Calvin (Protestant/Calvinist) who had Michael Servetus (Miguel Serveto) (Unitarian) burned at the stake. Serveto was the first European to describe the human ciruclatory system.
See also - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Servetus

[side note - the first human to describe the human circulatory system was ibn Al-Nafis in 1242]

Plenty examples of forced conversion or execution for refusing in -
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0375706054/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20 by David I. Kertzer - very good bibliography from the archives of the Catholic Church, and other sources.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0618219080/?tag=pfamazon01-20&tag=pfamazon01-20 by James Carroll - also a good bibliography from the archives of the Catholic Church and other sources.

Pope Benedict did single out Islam! He did not mention any of the violent history of the Christian Church, nor any other religion.

Christianity became a state religion under Emperor Constantine, with the support of the then Church officials. The Christian Church became very much a political instrument. In the early centuries, Christianity was imposed by conquest.

The vast majority of the European population were illiterate peasants who were controlled by noble classes with the assistance of the various religious institutions.

Those who disagreed with church and state, e.g. heretics, were dealt with very harshly - certainly not with reason. :rolleyes:

Of course, this is getting close to a discussion on religion, although it is about history of religion.

I strongly recommend one read the books by Kertzer and Carrol.
 
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  • #53
Hurkyl
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kyleb said:
The lack of intellectual rebuttal is an unfortunately yet predictable result of founding and slanderous argument on a flagrant strawman; people often have trouble responding intellectually to such verbal assault.
You miss the point -- of course we expect some people to have trouble responding intellectually to such "verbal assault". The problem that Anttech states is that, apparently, everybody is having trouble responding intellectually.
 
  • #54
Lisa!
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Anttech said:
Its unfortunate that the only answer to "the slur", has been aggression. I have yet to hear any intellectual rebut to the Popes words.
Huh perhaps that's because your media are ignoring the intellectual 1s and have only focused on violent 1s! I heard that they(those who're studying at religion schools) invited Pope to study more about Islamand its history. what other sorta respond do you expect? Discussions? sounds ok but I think 1st historical facts need to prove Pope wrong!
The problem is that you just see fanatic and they're the only 1s who're always heard. You never care about those tolerant muslims who just keep quite or protest peacefuly. we have over 1 billion muslims in the world just imagine if all of them wanted to show a bit of violence towards such events...OUCH!:rolleyes:
 
  • #55
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0
The Pope's words were harmless. What we have here is unmoderated hatred taking advantage of the slightest, most innocuous pretence to burst out into open violence. Apologizing only feeds its sense of self-righteousness. Either we stand up to these fascists NOW, or soon our very breathing will be the object of apology.
 
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  • #56
kyleb
Hurkyl said:
You miss the point -- of course we expect some people to have trouble responding intellectually to such "verbal assault". The problem that Anttech states is that, apparently, everybody is having trouble responding intellectually.
You seem to be missing my point; the Pope's argument has no intellectual foundation to dispute, it was based on a putrid red herring. In such a state of disgust, it is hard for the vast majority of people muster up anything but a request for an apology.

Perhaps you could understand the situation better if you image Herr Holy Father built his argument off a quote which reads “Show me just what Moses brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to engage in blood libel.” Surely you can see how most people people wouldn't even think to dignify such an absurd slander with an intellectual retort, but rather jump straight to suggesting an apology is in order?
 
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  • #57
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Lisa! said:
Huh perhaps that's because your media are ignoring the intellectual 1s and have only focused on violent 1s! I heard that they(those who're studying at religion schools) invited Pope to study more about Islamand its history. what other sorta respond do you expect? Discussions? sounds ok but I think 1st historical facts need to prove Pope wrong!
The problem is that you just see fanatic and they're the only 1s who're always heard. You never care about those tolerant Muslims who just keep quite or protest peacefully. we have over 1 billion muslims in the world just imagine if all of them wanted to show a bit of violence towards such events...OUCH!:rolleyes:
Well there are over 1.1 Billion Catholics the same could be said, and Christianity is actually the largest Religion in the world with over 2.2 Billion followers :wink:

Anyway Lisa! The popes "historical" facts are sound, he is quoting a Byzantine Emperor who actually did say those things. If you understood the context of why they said this you would understand the speech better. Manuel II Paleologus at the time was being violently besieged by Ottoman Muslims. Constantinpoli was part of a Christian land since the inception of Christianity until the Ottoman's finally besieged the city. In Istanbul now are still many of the most important Christian Churches, including Agia Sophia, which oddly enough is what the Muslim mosques shape is based on.

If an Islamist declares a jihad to remove all Christians from "Muslim" land, then a Christian could using the same argument claim his own "Jihad" and claim back Istanbul.

Anyway the pope was using Manuel II Paleologus Quote as an example, that violence does not work. Islam has spread through violence, the same as Christianity has. He may have made the mistake to not include some of the nasty things that Christianity has been capable of over the years. BUT unfortunately whether it is to do with Politics, Poverty, unjust systems of power, right now, at this point in time, the people who are causing the most violence in the name of religion are people of the Muslim faith. Yes Christians are also at war, and the US is in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not in the name of religion, in the name of something else (which doesnt excuse it), but this not within the scope of the Popes speech. He was calling on the Religious leaders of the world to engage intellectually like Manuel II Paleologus did with the unnamed Lebonese Theologist. Perhaps it was Naive of him to believe this would be possible in the climate we have right now. However through his fault or political manuvering he has highlighted a massive contradiction, which needs to be addressed peaceful.
 
  • #58
kyleb
Anttech said:
The popes "historical" facts are sound, he is quoting a Byzantine Emperor who actually did say those things.
That Emperor had his facts wrong, and the Pope built an argument against Islam off the quote anyway.
 
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  • #59
Lisa!
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See Anttech, I know the number of christians are more than muslims.
I just wanted to say that you shouldn't accuse all muslims of being violent because of the violent reaction of some fanatic. Some people here speak like all muslims are reacting violent and none of us want to rspond the speech with speech or discussion! I pointed out the number of muslims to prove that those viloent protests couldn't be from 1 billion people. o:)
 
  • #60
kyleb
Here is a fine example of Muslim leaders who have no interest in the sectarian conflict the Pope is pushing:
Palestinian Islamic Justice criticizes Pope's speech; says attacks on churches counter to Islam

Chief Islamic Justice for Palestine, Sheikh Taysir Al Tamimi, said Monday that attacks on churches in Palestine and anywhere in the Islamic world contravene the teachings of Islam, and that people should not allow themselves to be provoked by the inflammatory speech made by Pope Benedict XVI last week.

Tamimi stated that the principles of Islam include tolerance for all religions, including Christianity, and that Islam's teachings provide equal citizenship and religious freedom for all.

Particularly in Palestine, the Sheikh said today, Christians and Muslims are bonded by a common tragedy, as all Palestinians live under occupation. Sheikh Al Tamimi reiterated his point by saying that “attacks on Islamic and Christian holy places only serve the interests of our shared enemies.”

He emphasized the strength of the relationship between Muslims and Christians in the Islamic world, which is based in mutual respect and coexistence, and respect for the doctrines of each.

http://www.imemc.org/content/view/21509/1/ [Broken]
 
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  • #61
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Yes I agree Lisa! Its a very small fraction of lunatics. But there are still violent protests, a cleric, a supposed religious leader in London has been quoted in saying publicly that the Pope should be killed, in response to be a quote from a 600 year old Byzantine Leader, which was taken out of context. Do you see the problem there? Even if the pope was stating that Islam is a violent religion how can one rebuke it now? Without denouncing the Islamist viewpoint!

Imagine someone comes to me and says you are violent, and I smash him in the face and say, "No I am not, and if you say that again I will kick you" Anyone watching that senario from the sidelines would think, what a hypocrite.

By saying that the 'pope must die' if there was a problem with violence in the name of relgion within catholism surely by now, there would be massive protests in Italy with people burning pictures of that Cleric, Mosques being firebombed etc etc.

There isnt, and the Islamic faith with all its culture needs to look at itself and understand why are these fantics able to take such positions in the Islamic Religion.

Even if the pope was wrong in what he said, the contradiction is too big to be ignored now
 
  • #62
kyleb
The idiot in London calling blood is not the voice of Islam, but even he is apparently bright enough to comprehend the derogatory context in which the Pope referenced the quote.
 
  • #63
221
0
That idiot is however an influential voice in Islam. There lies the problem.

Not for one minute am I trying to make a sweeping statement that all Muslims are evil, or there religion is evil. What I am saying tho is that they need to look at the reason as to why these people are able to get to the public podiums and speak like they do.

Sheikh Taysir Al Tamimi may or may not be voice of Islam, but sometimes the logos of these people who actually speak sence is being drowned out by the violence and calls for violence of the lunatics.
 
  • #64
kyleb
Defending an argument that is founded on blatantly false Crusade propaganda is drowning out the logos too.
 
  • #65
221
0
blatantly false Crusade propaganda
So in the 1400 the Byzantiums were crusading were they? Rather the Turlics were 'crusading!'

I am not defending an argument, I am highlighting a contradiction, which you dont seem to want to acknowledge.
 
  • #66
kyleb
I didn't say they were crusading, just like if me saying 'Rush Limbaugh is preaching war propaganda' doesn't mean his is warring. Regardless, the Pope built his argument off blatantly false propaganda.
 
  • #67
23
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Check this out: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6135353&ft=1&f=1004"
Recent events have revealed problems that Muslims have in their relationship with secular western culture. In Europe, millions of first- and second-generation Muslims are struggling to define their identity. Some Muslim intellectuals are charting a new course, presenting an alternative that isn't often heard.
 
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  • #68
Astronuc
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Yonoz said:
Hah! You beat me to it. That was going to be my next post. :smile: I heard this tonight, and hope there will me more reports like it. This needs to happen, in addition to dialog.

People need to discuss differences in thought, especially in politics and religion, without coming to blows, verbally or otherwise. It is inherent that people have different and sometimes conflicting viewpoints, ideas, etc. That's just the way the world is and we need to be able to accept that.
 
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  • #69
23
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Astronuc said:
That's just the way the world is and we need to be able to accept that.
This Taoist approach to history is slowly growing on me.
 
  • #70
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Listening to that report again I must comment I think this is one of the wisest Popes in history.
Many analysts believe that despite the Muslim uproar the Pope-Islam controversy may actually open the way to a more productive and down-to-earth debate on Islam and its relationship with western culture and democracy.
Impressive journalism on NPR's part too.
 
  • #71
kyleb
Yonoz said:
Listening to that report again I must comment I think this is one of the wisest Popes in history.
I can't consider the Pope's long standing prejudice against Islam as wise, but even the most ignorant arguments can occasionally spark intelligent debate; much like Mel Gibson's recent drunken ramblings is helping him see the error of his own bigotry. That the article you posted earlier, "http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/764193.html [Broken]", did a great job in predicting that happening here.
 
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  • #72
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kyleb said:
I can't consider the Pope's long standing prejudice against Islam as wise, but even the most ignorant arguments can occasionally spark intelligent debate; much like Mel Gibson's recent drunken ramblings is helping him see the error of his own bigotry. That the article you posted earlier, "http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/764193.html [Broken]", did a great job in predicting that happening here.
Mel Gibson made unmistakably racist remarks in drunken stupor, I think the Pope was much more calculating.
EDIT: If I may quote that article:
A large part of having the courage of one's convictions, is a willingness to see how they actually stand up to the other side, in the context of discussion in which both sides listen at least as intently, as they talk.

As equals.

For the rightists among us, courage, in this sense, means examining your own actions and views and fallibilities as critically as you do those of your rivals.

For the leftists among us, self-esteem, in this context, means looking with the same appreciation and understanding of your own side's virtues, as you would those of the other side.
 
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  • #73
kyleb
I'm appreciate what you quoted but you are surely mistaken with you meant to be getting at with the bold, I am not a Leftist and I don't see any virtue in Muslim leaders preaching ignorant bigotry either.

As for the Pope, I highly doubt he had been hitting the bottle like Gibson, and his argument was certainly far more byzantine (pun intended :wink:), but it was dearly presented in an attempt to rally Christianity rather than as a call for dialog with Islam. Regardless, like Gibson, the Pope "opened up the little box of horrors" in his head; and, though his words were presented in a far deliberate manor than Mel Gibson's outbursts, in much the same way it has shaken up the people on the other side of those delusions into steeping in and setting the record straight.
 
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  • #74
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kyleb said:
I'm appreciate what you quoted but you are surely mistaken with you meant to be getting at with the bold, I am not a Leftist and I don't see any virtue in Muslim leaders preaching ignorant bigotry either.
How would you define yourself then?
I highlighted that section for a reason. This isn't about the empty half:
...looking with the same appreciation and understanding of your own side's virtues, as you would those of the other side.
In this case, I think that virtue is the Pope's honesty.

kyleb said:
As for the Pope, I highly doubt he had been hitting the bottle like Gibson, and his argument was certainly far more byzantine (pun intended :wink:), but it was dearly presented in an attempt to rally Christianity rather than as a call for dialog with Islam.
Rally Christianity to what purpose? It is quite possible that His Holiness has strong opinions on the matter of Islamic fundamentalism. This fundamentalism is supported by hundreds of millions of Muslims that make a very hard to reach crowd. What better way to shake things down in the Muslim world? What better way to signal those masses that something is wrong with the people they're supporting? Richard Clarke describes his concentric circles model 10+ minutes into this video: http://www.cgs.uiuc.edu/resources/webvideo/rac.html" [Broken].

kyleb said:
Regardless, like Gibson, the Pope "opened up the little box of horrors" in his head; and, though his words were presented in a far deliberate manor than Mel Gibson's outbursts, in much the same way it has shaken up the people on the other side of those delusions into steeping in and setting the record straight.
And that is exactly what we need - to shake people up into stepping in and setting records straight.
 
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  • #75
kyleb
Yonoz said:
How would you define yourself then?
Purple. :tongue2:

Seriously though, I am a libertarian. I disagree far to much with the Left in many areas to be labeled a Leftist though, and I've been called a Neo-Con as well for various positions but I have very little in common with them. In many areas I favor traditional conservative polices, although I have no respect for the dogmas that often come mixed them.
Yonoz said:
I highlighted that section for a reason. This isn't about the empty half:In this case, I think that virtue is the Pope's honesty.
I don't see any virtue or honesty in bigotry. Best I can tell, the virtue or honesty only comes in working past such things.
Yonoz said:
Rally Christianity to what purpose?
To promote his "Christian understanding of God", did you read the whole speech?

As for Clarke, I watched from 10:00 to 20:00 of the video and didn't hear him state anything but the obvious. Regardless, the 'God commands' group is only a subset of the of 'jihadist' supporters "circle' anyway, with many in that circle being those who know the difference between the Koran and extremist interpratations of it, but are opposed to us propping up their corrupt leaders, occupying their lands, and installing our corporations to play middlemen on their oil. Much like we have the hardcore religious settlers, and people like Jack Abramoff sending sniper scopes and such to the settlers, and then there are other backers of non-religious ideologies who lend support in various ways as well. But on either side, even they do come to understand the difference between what the Scriptures say and what they have been interpreting them to mean, how many do you think that will really change?

I personally doubt many, though I am hopping that what comes from this will help clear up some misunderstandings here in the West. Not that I have any reason to believe the Pope will be changing his mind, but at least some others might.
 
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