Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tender Sensibilities

Pope's address disappoints Muslim leaders

Jordanian clerics expressed disappointment that Pope Benedict XVI in an address to Muslim leaders on Saturday failed to offer a new apology for remarks seen as targeting Islam.

"We wanted him to clearly apologise," Sheikh Yusef Abu Hussein, mufti of the southern city of Karak, told AFP after the pope's address in Amman's huge Al-Hussein Mosque.

"What the pope said (in 2006) about the Prophet Mohammed is untrue. Islam did not spread through the power of sword. It's a religion of tolerance and faith," Hussein said.

It's always the same old tripe. Even in Jordan, which is supposed to be "moderate", in terms of Islam, there is the persistent and abject refusal to accept things as they are. This lies at the heart of the intransigence of Islam and explains the near impossibility of affecting any type of peace between them and the balance of the world.

I, as well as countless others, have written ad nauseum on this subject. The religion of "tolerance" of which Hussein speaks simply does not exist in history and continually claiming that it does cannot change the facts. Certainly Christianity, Judaism and all major religions have had their periods of violence, but all of them have confronted their past and adapted their faiths to conform to a more moderate present. Denial of history simply dooms one to continue the radical and blood soaked errors of the past, and that is where we find Islam today. One needn't look at the distant past for examples of radical Islamic violence, one need only look at yesterday's newspaper. One need only look at the daily operation of Islamic states to see intolerance, cruelty and gruesome murder directed at anyone with even mildly divergent views.

If anyone deserves an apology, it's the non-Islamic West, who have welcomed Muslims into their countries, exhibited religious tolerance and understanding toward them, only to be viciously attacked and murdered by fundamentalist Muslims who still believe in the Mohammedan practice of spreading Islam "by the sword".

Continuing to coddle and issue apologies simply begets more of the same. It is up to THEM to confront the violent factions in their midst and purge them. Until that happens, they will never be a religion of "tolerance"; they will continue to be a religion of codified violence and barbarity.

This isn't the first time I've said this and, alas, it won't be the last.

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