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September 15, 2006



Uhuh. A Muslim family walks to Friday prayers in Rome. Peacefully. In a European city with Catholic roots.

Is it too much to ask for similar courtesies in Muslim countries?


The Pope is very brave to speak the truth. His predecessor was nearly killed by a Turk.

Morning's Minion

I would go even further. Since you can see a hideous mosque in the hills overlooking St. Peter's let's ask the Saudis when we can build a church next to Mecca!

At times like this, our daily political squabbles seem so minor. Time to unite and defend our pope!


Anyone who really believes in Christianity and who thinks about Islam rationally can not fail to come to certain conclusions:

1. Mohammed was not a prophet of God
2. The Koran is not God's word

By definition, a Christian believes these things. If a Muslim responds with anger and "offense" whenever a Christian points out that this is what a Christian believes, then no dialog is possible with that Muslim.

Ed the Roman

If I were writing a humorous science fiction story, I might very well put in a religion that responds with riots and murder when it's non-violence is brought into question.

That's the only place it would be believable, right?

Kevin Jones

I hope violence doesn't breaks out because of this manufactured controversy. If it does come to violence, will Pope Benedict start to pull his punches for fear of bringing death and fire down upon those of his flock in muslim areas?


It is all very well for us to reach out to both our Protestant brothers and sisters and followers of Islam, but there is the issue of some fundemental beliefs here. While a modern Muslim may be blameless for their belief, Mohammed either recieved a visit from the Angle Gabrial, which means that Chrisitians are doomed to hell. Or he made it up and Islam is following the teachings of a man who used a made-up religion, based on Arab animilism, Jewish and Christian beliefs, sprinkled with a smattering of other near eastern religions to garner political power, during his lifetime and left as his legacy a violent, expansionistic religion that makes the worst of the Inquisition look tolerant.
But, unfortunately in the modern secular world where the worst sin is telling someone they might be wrong, or that their "world view" isn't valid such statements are not allowed.

c matt

Third option (or subset of #2) - Mo was visited by Satan, disguised as Gabriel. I find this highly plausible.


That mosque in Rome is truly disgusting. Until there is genuine religious freedom for Christians and Jews in Muslim lands, Europe and America should close down all mosques. Most of them are financed by Wahabbi extremists anyway, who use them to foment more hatred and jihadism.

Henry Dieterich

The reaction to the Pope's remarks reminds me of a cartoon I saw many years ago: Two rough-looking, hairy men are sitting together. One says to the other, "When people call us Vandals barbarians, I get so mad I want to break things!"


Interesting possibility c matt. I hadn't thought of that. I think that "deluded false prophet" is probably likely to garner even less sympathy from Islamic adherants than "political opportunist".


You forgot several subsets. Mohammed could have had purely imaginary visions; insane delusions; good visions that morphed into bad, imaginary, or delusional ones; or even good ones that were tragically misreported. There's also the option that he never existed, of course, but I don't think that's very probable.

Blind Squirrel

I see that a Christian church (Greek Orthodox) has now been bombed in Gaza City. Nobody killed, fortunately.

Clare Krishan

Well we can't acuse these gentlemen in Pakistan of being illiterate (how many of us could make posters in Arabic or Farsi?) just illogical:
       "Jehad is a Means to End Tyranny and Injustice"
that's about as clear cut as it gets in debunking the civilizing influence of Hellenizing reason (the end may never be used to justify the means). By way of conciliation, I'll second his colleague's proposal:
      "Christians (sic) Community Should Take Notice of Pope's Remarks"

will cappelli


It must be said that, in fact, the early history of Islam is pretty murky. The texts on which even standard scholarly histories are based were written hundreds of years after the events they are meant to recount and are clearly tendentious, at best. The Koran, without the associated Moslem commentary, is, in many,many places almost completely unintelligible and, in fact, many of the hadiths looks suspiciously like attempts to provide some kind of narrative logic for otherwise meaningless chunks of text. There are a handful of contemporary descriptions of the early days of the Moslem conquest but these descriptions don't correspond at all to the Moslem histories. So Muhammed may very well have not existed. Certainly the foundations for asserting that he did indeed exist are not significantly better than the foundations for asserting that, let us say, Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita existed. People used to say that Islam emerged in the full light of history, contrasting this, I think, with the historical-critical methodology-inspired skepticism about Biblical accounts of the origins of Christianity. Interestingly, I think it would now be far more broadly accepted among scholars (excepting maybe hard core Jesus Seminar types - and even many of them seem to be caving) that, after all, the Gospels are, for the historian, a reasonably good guide to Jesus' life and teaching while the Islamic histories could be very well be almost completely mythical.

Chris Molter

I tend to side with cMatt's idea above regarding the true identity of Mohammed's angelic messenger. I also tend to think it was the same messenger who spent time with Joseph Smith 1200 years later on another continent.


The most irritating thing to me is the complete hypocrisy of the MSM......How often do celebrities and politicians make slams against the Holy Father or Holy Mother Church???? CONSTANTLY. And yet, how many headlines do you see that decry this ever-present realtiy? None. We can bash Catholicism all we want, but bashing Islam? Don't even think about it! And the bottom line is....Papa B didn't even bash Islam. Suddenly intelligent, critical (in the most classical sense) remarks are seen as "bashing". Give me a break.

Eileen R

If I were writing a humorous science fiction story, I might very well put in a religion that responds with riots and murder when it's non-violence is brought into question.

That's the only place it would be believable, right?

Yes! It sounds like something out of Terry Pratchett's fantasy satires.

Chris Molter:
I tend to side with cMatt's idea above regarding the true identity of Mohammed's angelic messenger. I also tend to think it was the same messenger who spent time with Joseph Smith 1200 years later on another continent.

I think myself that would be giving Smith much too much credit for sincerity. The man was involved in quite a few scams before he hit on Mormonism. Before he claimed that the Angel Moroni had brought the tablets for him, he was claiming that he could find buried treasure with crystal balls on a pay in advance basis. The fact that he was involved in such an obvious confidence-trick, and threw that over when it wasn't bringing in enough money, makes me very suspecting of his sincerity about the Angel.


While I'm quite sure Mohammed was not a prophet of God, I think there is a different possibility at work here that one should not dismiss.

In one sense, Mohammed (who quite clearly existed as a real person) had a strong, particular, and correct insight about God: There is only one God. As we know, you cannot come to know the truth about God without grace. So, almost certainly, there was an element of God's grace that gave Mohammed this insight. It may even have been the angel Gabriel who delivered that message!

What is also quite clear to a Christian is that God did not tell Mohammed to proclaim a message against our God and Lord Jesus Christ. Where the error crept in and distorted the truth is not clear, whether it came from the heart of a fallen man, or from the prince of lies we cannot tell.

I do not share this relatively benign opinion of Joseph Smith, who clearly had disingenuous intent from the very beginning, and deserves no more respect than L. Ron Hubbard in that regard.


Hmmm. Easy to buy the banner, hard to speak the English.

Dale Price

I'll say this much: at least the banner didn't have Bert on it.


Patrick Rothwell

Gasp! Great minds think alike, Dale, and so do ours!

Dale Price


LOL! I'm definitely going to remember--and use--that one.



How would America close down mosques?


A good start would be to go after the ones financed by Saudi/Wahabbi money and other terrorist supporting nations and organisations. Look cloesly at any mosque, and I bet you can find ample evidence of aiding and abetting Islamic extremism. That alone should be enough to shut them down, just as many so-called Muslim "charities" have been shut down in the wake of 9-11 because they were really nothing but fronts for terrorism and Islamic extremism.

It is simply obscene for the United States and Europe to allow mosques full of extremists to operate within thier borders, while it's illegal for Christians to even build a church at all in Arabia. It's a simple matter of reciprocity. If Christians cannot openly practice their faith in majority Muslim lands, then they shouldn't expect to take advantage of our freedoms in order to destroy us from within.

Muslims always seek to have it one way: Islamist lobbyists, like CAIR, will scream and yell at every perceived slight in the West, and claim that we must be "tolerant" of them, but they won't offer the same openness and tolerance to others in their own countries. I'm sick of it! I'm sick of Islam! I'm sick of Muslims! I'm sick of Allah! (not to be confused with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!). Ans I'm sick of Mohammad! Every day the news for the last five years has been an endless stream of Islamic terror, atrocities, and claims on their part to be "outraged" at some perceived slight. Enough. I'm outraged, as should we all be, by Islam and it's adherents, and the endless atrocities, hatred, and terror they foment. No submission! Not now. Not ever.



That same logic could be used to close all parishes in union with the Holy See and prosecute aiding and abetting abuse of children. A certain famous dialogue between Corin Redgrave and Paul Scofield from Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons" comes to mind....

Laura Gonzalez


I hardly think all mosques have close ties to terrorism. And I might point out that Saudi Arabia is our "friend."

I see no need to trash the Constitution in order to support your far-out ideas. If you want to live in a land of no religous freedom, pack your bags.


Liam, are you saying that you believe Bishops have been using Vatican supplied money to actively promote ephebophilia and pedophilia as the desired policy of the parishes in their dioceses? For that is the factual situation you must allege in order for your equation between Saudi/Wahabbi funding of extremist mosques and child abuse by some priests to work. Thus, your equation is flawed on two counts: 1) the vast majority of money parishes have to operate comes from their local communities, not from direct Vatican subsidies, unlike the Saudis who directly fund hundreds, if not thousands, of extremist mosques and phony "charities" throughout the U.S. and Europe, and 2) there is no causal link in the case of child abuse by some priests, i.e. to say that some bishops did not do enough in some cases to discover or prevent child abuse and to punish known transgressors is not the same as desiring the continuance of and/or actively promoting the continuance of such abuse. Perhaps they didn't handle it the way most would have wished, but that does not mean they were promoting such abuse. Those who operate and fund muslim extremism, on the other hand, actively seek and promote precisely the outcome they get - increased violence and increased terrorism - thus there is a direct causal link between the funding from Saudis/Wahabbis, and others of their ilk, and those who receive those funds and use them to promote Islamic extremism.

And Laura: The Constitution is not a suicide pact - though much of the Western world seems hell-bent on committing cultural suicide - and we should not feel obliged to allow those whose ultimate aim is to subvert the Constitution and replace it with Sharia to take temporary advantage of the very freedoms our Constitution offers in order to commence the task of that subversion. Again, it's a simple matter of reciprocity: Unless the Muslim world wakes up to reason and offers the same freedoms and tolerance to Christians, Jews, and others, in their lands as we do Muslims in the West, we should not continue allowing Muslim mosques to operate in our countries.

To practice tolerance toward the intolerant - those who wish to destroy everything our culture stands for - is not an enlightened policy, it's sheer insanity and self-destruction.


Dennis is right wherever Saudi money flows there one can expect radicalisation and pathetic attempts by the local Muslims to ape their worthless culture and mores. Many Indian Muslims work in the Gulf countries and most of them return unchanged but the ones that end up in Saudi Arabia go home unhinged. These are the ones who end up making their wives go around in the burqa and solidify their newly found identities by growing really ugly beards.

David Davies

We don't permit the practice of religions which demand human sacrifice, now, do we? We need a method by which we can have Islam legally ruled to be not a religion, but a death-cult. Why should we permit a death-cult to flourish in our midst?

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