His discourse Tuesday sought to delineate what he sees as a fundamental difference between Christianity's view that God is intrinsically linked to reason (the Greek concept of logos) and Islam´s view that "God is absolutely transcendent." Benedict said that Islam teaches that God's "will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality."The implication of that rather fundamental diffrence in understanding the nature of the Supreme Being is devinely approved irrationality:
The risk he sees implicit in this concept of the divine is that the irrationality of violence can potentially be justified if someone believes it is God's will. "As far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we find ourselves faced with a dilemma which nowadays challenges us directly. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God's nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true?"Quoting 14th century Byzantine Emperor, Benedict said of Muhammed:
"The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," the Pope said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad 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.'"Reactions ofcourse were swift and in high tone of voice. And of a boringly familiar pattern: Taqiyah - Offense - Tu Quoque - Threat
Islamic scholar Maulana Khalid Rasheed in Rediff India Abroad lets the taqiyah fly thick and fast:
[The Popes remarks are] more 'derogatory than the Danish cartoonist's blasphemous sketches on the ProphetIn Baku Today we find the obligatory call for apologies:
Muslims have tolerated Christian terrorism on the people of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and now Lebanon, but no Muslim is going to tolerate such wild, baseless and unfounded allegations against the Prophet.
The charge that the Prophet used the sword to spread Islam is also false; the Prophet used the sword only to defend Islam not to spread the religion. The Prophet believed in peace and always practiced it to the hilt
Haken al-Mutairi, secretary general of the Umma (Islamic Nation) party, urged him to apologise for "calumnies against the Prophet Mohammed and Islam". Sayed Baqer al-Mohri, head of the assembly of Shiite ulemas, or theologians, echoed the call.And over at Turkishpress.com we find both the tu-quoque
After the bloodstained conversions in South America, the crusades in the Muslim world, the coercion of the Church by Hitler's regime, and even the coining of the phrase 'holy war' by Pope Urban II, I do not think the Church should point a finger at extremist activities in other religionsand the veiled threat.
The global outcry over the calamitous cartoons (of the Prophet Mohammed) have only just died down and now the pontiff, in all his holiness, is launching an attack against IslamNow we only need some violent demonstrations in Indonesia and Pakistan where an X number of protestors shed their mortal coil and the picture is once again complete. With Friday prayer coming up, I think we will see some of that too.
In the mean time one has to conclude that Pope Benedict has his head on straighter than the Archbishop of York, who was quoted by the BBC as saying:
British Christians should see Muslims as allies in the struggle against secularism.I think you'll find that the more erm... dedicated elements in Islam hate both with a passion and would only prefer a sharia state, dear Bisshop.
In a speech at York Minster, Dr John Sentamu said British Muslims were not offended by Christianity and preferred it to a secular state.
Thank God for a man like Benedict XVI.
[UPDATE001] Open Orthodoxie has both a link to the original speech (DE) and the EN translation in .pdf.