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Pope's words spark violence


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#1
peepnklownRTBH

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It doesn't take much to spark a furor in parts of the Muslim world. Offensive cartoons in a Danish newspaper. Rumors that a Quran was flushed down a toilet in the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. And, now, remarks by Pope Benedict XVI.


Muslim rage at the pope - after he clumsily quoted a medieval text characterizing some teachings of the prophet Mohammed as "evil and inhuman" - has been widespread and violent.


Salih Kapusuz, the deputy head of Turkey's governing party, ranted that the pope "is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini." A nun was gunned down in Somalia after a cleric declared that "whoever offends our prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim." Yemen, where conversion away from Islam can be punishable by death, is threatening to cut diplomatic ties with the Vatican. Churches were bombed in the West Bank.


As ill-chosen as the pope's words might have been, violent responses to perceived insults do nothing but undercut the Muslim clerics who insist that Islam is a peaceful and secure religion. In fact, it's enough to make one fear that the much-heralded clash of civilizations has begun. While that point hasn't been reached, the latest uproar has provided some clarity about what's needed to avert it: Wiser religious leadership on all sides.


It's not as if there is a blank slate to write on: Throughout history, both Christianity and Islam have been by turns violent, intolerant - and peaceful. Violent Christians have included the Crusaders and the leaders of the Inquisition. Al-Qaeda preaches holy war against Christians today.


The pope did apologize Sunday. He said he was "deeply sorry" about the angry reaction and the text did not reflect his opinion. But this age of heightened sensitivity calls for more extraordinary gestures and words, particularly from someone who, as leader of a billion Roman Catholics worldwide, can wield enormous power. On a visit to Syria in 2001, the pope's predecessor, John Paul II, had the better approach: He became the first pope to set foot in a mosque.


On the Muslim side, rabble-rousing extremists are trying to hijack efforts at dialogue between religions. Stopping them requires Islamic moderates to assert themselves - and leaders who can rise to the occasion, much as Nelson Mandela once did in politics to overcome the legacy of apartheid in South Africa.


One encouraging sign came in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist group that spawned Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawahri, said the pope's apology was sufficient. It is, in all likelihood, no coincidence that the Vatican's envoy in Egypt, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, is an expert on Islam and the Arab world who helped the previous pope reach out in Syria.


In a world of modern communications and ancient grievances, that's the sort of leadership needed to keep the lid on.

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#2
Syrius

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See, the fact that the pope pissed off the muslims (though they are usually pissed off) is hilarious, the fact that a nun was gunned down, is not.

I do hope this does not offend anyone (mainly so I don't get gunned down) but all of the muslims responsible for shit like this need to be rounded up and recieve a hard lesson in genocide, those damn bastards.
I walk the path of Darkness, people say I'm evil for it, I say they are wrong.
Light and Dark by themselves are neutral entities, sure good generally chooses the light, while evil generally chooses the dark. However, it is not the path you walk, but how you walk it. It is not the power you weild, but how you weild it.

#3
Syrius

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See, the fact that the pope pissed off the muslims (though they are usually pissed off) is hilarious, the fact that a nun was gunned down, is not.

I do hope this does not offend anyone (mainly so I don't get gunned down) but all of the muslims responsible for shit like this need to be rounded up and recieve a hard lesson in genocide, those damn bastards.
I walk the path of Darkness, people say I'm evil for it, I say they are wrong.
Light and Dark by themselves are neutral entities, sure good generally chooses the light, while evil generally chooses the dark. However, it is not the path you walk, but how you walk it. It is not the power you weild, but how you weild it.




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