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November 30, 2006


Patrick O'Hannigan

Note how much in Mr. Bardakoglu's statement depends on the defintion of "innocent." By the reckoning of many Muslims (?) the pope is not innocent.


Philip Blond totally (and probably knowingly if he is not as ignorant as he sounds) misrepresents the views of Benedict. In Italy and elsewhere in Europe, the Pope is concerned NOT to make common cause with Islam, but to bring on board those liberal and enlightenment-type thinkers who value the tradition of Catholic reason rather than left-wing ideologies. Blond has this Pope so backwards that one is suspicious of a plot by Anglicans to repay the Pope for not clasping Rowan to his bosom the other day. The Pope is interested in the future of Christianity in Europe, not in some faked up 3 in one monotheism.

Father Elijah

Congratulations to Philip Blond and Adrian Pabst's article in the International Herald Tribune on (Pope) Benedict's Post-Secular Vision! I have seldom seen such on-target commentary on what Pope Benedict is really doing! Alleluia and praise God!


I agree with Father Elijah.


"...as Mr. Bardakoglu also lectured the pope, it is 'Islamophobic' to say that Islam "was spread over the world by the sword..."

This is typical Muslim-speak. Blatantly lie about historical facts that everyone knows, i.e. that Islam was largely spread through Arab and then Turkish imperial conquest, and then claim that those who oppose the sanitised Muslim view are simply "Islamophobes".

Of course, we can't rely on the mainstream media to do any deep fact-checking or ask any really tough questions - their default sympahty goes to whoever claims victim status most vociferously. Time magazine's historical timeline last week of Christian-Muslim interactions is a case in point: They jumped from the founding of Islam - which they tellingly described simply as having been "revealed to Muhammad" (no qualifier such as "according to Muslims" or "Muslims believe", etc., thus Time explicitly endorses the Muslim view regarding the origin of Islam) - to the Crusades which they say the Western Christian world launched "against Islam" (note again the telling phrase "against Islam" as such, not simply against Islamic imperialism, agression, desecration of Christian holy sites, etc.). Time completely left out several hundred years of violent Islamic imperial expansion and anti-Christian antagonism leading up to the Crusades, instead making it appear as though, a propos of nothing, those vile Christians just decided one day to go to war against peaceful innocent Muslims minding their own business. A disgraceful, but all too typical performance from the MSM.

This is the same kind of twisted thinking that allows Muslims to profess to be outraged that the Pope might visit the Hagia Sophia - and, God forbid, actually pray there! - because to do so is alleged to express a "Western imperialist desire to re-claim the church", thus ignoring the fact that the Muslims themselves took the Church through imperial conquest and desecrated it by turning it into a mosque. Since when is desiring to re-claim stolen property "imperialism"?

The Muslims need to learn that "tolerance" is a two-way street - and we need much more emphasis on reciprocity when it comes to issues of human rights and religious freedom. Muslims can't denounce so-called Western "imperialism" and "intolerance", while ignoring and white-washing Islam's own history of violent imperialist jihad (a history that is ongoing in many arts of the world) and intolerance (both historical and current in most Muslim majority countries) for believers in other religions.


what you guys hold to be historic facts are mere propaganda, lies and myths.
The synagogue and bank bombings killed and wounded many more muslim Turks than it did jewish Turks.
You are blaming the victims for the actions of the terrorists.

I believe that Turks have throughout history have been extremely tolerant of other religions and cultures often incorporating many aspects from the territories they ruled. However, the Turks have also probably killed more muslims in their history then the crusades and Western imperialism combined.
Muslim Turks are a lot more peaceful than Buddhist Turks and Christian Turks. Islam survived for a long time despite the Turks.


A)The buddhist Turks under the leadership of the Mongol Djenghiz Khan killed millions of Arabs, Persians, and muslim Turks, but never forced them to convert to buddhism. A century later most of the buddhists actually converted to Islam.

B)The ottomans, although themselves nominally muslims, married into Byzantine and Serbian orthodox christian nobility, and had very little muslim subjects.
They fought many wars against majority muslim states in Anatolia, against the Safewid state of Iran and the Mameluk state of egypt. Their most loyal troops were their christian soldiers. When they lost a battle, the ottomans retreated back to Europe, to their main base.

C) The Ottomans only mellowed out a bit after the conquest of Eastern Anatolia, Egypt and Syria all the muslim scholars came to Istanbul to preach Islam to the Ottomans. This is when the majority christian Turkey of the middle ages turned into the majority muslim Turkey we have today.

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