Originally published in September 19th, 2006.
(why are so many against the visit of the Pope Benedict XVI to Turkey? Find out here).
Pope Benedict XVI has received heavy criticism for quoting a 14th century Byzantine emperor's remarks on Islam. In a speech to an academic audience in Germany, the Pope spoke about spreading faith through reason, rather than through violence. During the speech, he quoted Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, saying, "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 Pope also quoted the emperor's argument that, "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 Pope's comments roused great resentment in the Islamic world. Most Muslims expressed their anger without resorting to violence. However Muslim protesters in Iraq and Kashmir burned the Pope in effigy, as many as 1,000 Muslims rallied to protest in Indonesia, and Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq vowed war on "worshippers of the cross." Following the Pope's comments 2,000 Palestinians protested in Gaza City, accusing the Pope of leading a new Crusade against the Muslim world. The following day five churches were attacked in the Palestinian territories, according to an Associated Press report:
"Firebombings left black scorch marks on the walls and windows of Nablus Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches. At least five firebombs hit the Anglican church and its door was later set ablaze. Smoke billowed from the church as firefighters put out the flames. In a phone call to The Associated Press, a group claimed responsibility for those attacks, saying they were carried out to protest the Pope's remarks in a speech this week in Germany linking Islam and violence."
Muslim leaders worldwide have demanded that the Pope make amends, and he has since apologized publicly for his comments.
The Root of the Problem
Over the past few days many commentators have weighed in on the controversy. Some say the Pope's apology was inadequate. Others say his comments were taken out of context. However very few people seem to have stopped to ask the obvious question: is it true? Does the Koran advocate the use of violence as a means of spreading the Islamic faith?
Most Americans - and even most Christians - have no real awareness of the nature of Islam: its origin, its agenda, and its methods. There are, of course, "moderate" Muslims throughout the world that are peace-loving and do not share the views of "extremists" and "fundamentalists." But we also need to recognize that the root teachings of the Koran are anything but peace-loving:
"Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war." - Sura 9:5
"Prophet, make war on unbelievers and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them." - Sura 9:73
"Let not the unbelievers think they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your command, so that you may strike terror into the enemy of God and your enemy... Prophet, (Muhammed) rouse the faithful to arms! If they (the non-Muslims) incline to peace (accept Islam) make peace with them." - Sura 8:59
"If they reject your judgement, know that it is Allah's wish to scourge them for their sins." - Sura 5:49
"Believers (Muslims), take neither Jews nor Christians to be your friends: they are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number, and God does not guide (those Jewish and Christian) wrong-doers." - Sura 5:51
Don't let yourself be blinded by misleading propaganda and politically-correct generalities. The cause of Islamic terrorism is not the quest for social justice. It is not freedom for a specific group of subjugated people. The goal of Islamic terrorism - ultimately - is to bring the whole world into subjection to their version of fundamentalist Islam. No amount of appeasement will stop them. They do not want peace unless it comes on their terms.
Unfold the Evangel before your eyes!
Are you worn out?
Are you overwhelmed?
Are you rational?
Only rational, non-dogmatic persons can understand and accept this message. Give yourself a try. Nothing will be like before, I promise!
terça-feira, novembro 28, 2006