Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI's third (biggest) bite: the Muslims

The Jesuits are mild victims of Benedict XVI's bite, after all they have a fourth "Vow to the Pope" as Jesuits. During the Jesuit Suppression, they never fought back against the Popes who suppressed them, exiled them and confiscated all their assets. Whether it's secular or religious persecutors they are facing, the Jesuits are like lambs being led to the slaughter house, or like Chirst the Lamb of God.

The patron of this weblog, St. John Brebeuf, is a classic example of a Jesuit Lamb; he never fought back against the Indians who martyred and cannibalized him and his companions. In fact all the Jesuit martyrs never fought back against their persecutors.

St. John Brebeuf: Jesuit Missions
Jesuit Saints and Martyrs
and Jesuit Missionaries

The gays are also free-spirit people and they won't fight back against Benedict XVI either. The gays are friendly and mild, they just want to enjoy their life and be like everybody else in society.

But for his the third victim, God's Rottweiler has finally met his match, the Muslims! Watch out what those suicide-martyrs can do! If they can reduce the Twin Towers of New York into rubbles, the Vatican is a piece of cake to them. Lord, have mercy on us!

There's even a "fatwa" call on the Pope! Lord, have mercy on us! See Jihad Watch!

Time to get cracking at the Vatican!

Where will Pope Benedict run away to with his papal red shoes, to the island of Oz with his Swiss Guards?

Here is the most recent victim of Benedict XVI Rotweiler bite: the Muslims!

Pontiff erred in his Islam remarks, 38 Muslim leaders assert in 'open letter'

Catholic Online

By Mark Lombard10/16/2006

AMMAN, Jordan (Catholic Online) – Pope Benedict XVI erred in assertions and made misstatements about Islam in a September address that provoked a storm of protests from the Muslim community, said an open letter signed by 38 Muslim scholars, officials and chief muftis from more than two dozen countries throughout the world.

The Oct. 15 “Open letter to his holiness Pope Benedict XVI,” which was to be delivered to the Vatican envoy in Amman on that day, said the Muslim leaders accepted the pontiff’s “unprecedented personal expression of sorrow and … clarification and assurance that your quote does not reflect you own personal opinion,” and applauded his efforts “to oppose the dominance of positivism and materialism in human life.”

The four-page letter was posted Oct. 14 on the Islamica Magazine Web site, a quarterly based in Los Angeles, Calif.

“In the spirit of open exchange,” the 38 Muslim leaders said, they hoped to use Pope Benedict’s reference to the comments of the 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus as “the starting point for a discourse on the relationship between reason and faith.”

In his Sept. 12 address at the University of Regensburg during his pilgrimage to Germany, Benedict, in rejecting any religious motivation for violence, quoted between the emperor’s characterization of some teachings of Islam’s founder, the Prophet Mohammad, including about jihad or holy war. "He said, I quote,” said the pope of the emperor, “‘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 said that the emperor, in his dialogue with an unnamed Muslim scholar, must have been aware of early Islamic teaching that "there is no compulsion in religion" as well as later Quran precepts about “holy war.”

Among other issues the pope touched on in his remarks included why spreading the faith through coercion is unreasonable as violence is “contrary to the nature of God" and whether God is absolutely transcendent for Muslims and not bound up with "any of our categories, even that of rationality."

Since then, Pope Benedict has stated several times that he did not share the emperor's views on Islam, though agreed with the relationship expressed between faith and reason.
“We must point out,” the letter reads, “some errors in the way you mentioned Islam as a counterpoint to the proper use of reason, as well as some mistakes in the assertions you put forward in support of your argument.”
The 38 Muslim leaders suggested that the pope’s reference to the “learned Persian” painted an inaccurate picture of Islam calling him a “very marginal figure” belonging to a “school of jurisprudence which is followed by no one in the Islamic world today.”

“‘Holy war’ is not an Islamic term, the clerics, scholars and officials said, noting that the world jihad “means struggle, and specifically struggle in the way of God.”

“This struggle may take many forms, including the use of force,” they said. “Though a jihad may be sacred in the sense of being directed toward a sacred ideal, it is not necessarily a ‘war.’”
The letter points to Jesus throwing out the money-changers in the temple quoted in the New Testament and the Old Testament account of God’s drowning of Pharaoh as places where Christianity acknowledges that violence does not go against “God’s nature,” while it notes that “cruelty, brutality and aggression are against God’s will.”

Islamic “authoritative and traditional” understanding of war, the Muslim leaders said, notes that non-combatants cannot be legitimate targets, religion cannot be the sole reason to attack another and, beyond legitimate self-defense and maintenance of sovereignty, Muslims must live peacefully with their neighbors.

“If some have disregarded a long and well-established tradition” of Islam, they said, “where the end justifies the means, they have done so of their own accord and without the sanction of God, his Prophet or the learned tradition.”

The Muslim leaders condemned the Sept. 17 murder of Italian Consolata missionary Sister Leonella Sgorbati in Somalia and “other similar acts of wanton individual violence” in reaction to the pope’s comments on Islam “is completely un-Islamic.”

They said that the pope’s reference of the phrase “there is no compulsion in religion” was not from early Islam, but rather from its later political and military ascendancy. It served, the leaders said, as “a reminder to Muslims themselves, once they attained power, that they could not force another’s heart to believe.”

“This verse,” they stressed, “was precisely an answer to them not to try to force their children to convert to Islam” from Judaism or Christianity.

They called the pontiff’s assertions that Islam teaches that God is absolutely transcendent and not bound up with Western categories, including rationality, are each “a simplification which can be misleading.”

“To conclude that Muslims believe in a capricious God who might or might not command us to evil is to forget that God says in the Quran, ‘Lo! God enjoins justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness.’ … Equally, it is to forget that God says in the Quran that ‘He has prescribed for himself mercy,’ and … ‘My mercy encompasses everything.’”

“Is it not self-evident,” they asked, “that spilling innocent blood goes against mercy and compassion?”

The 38 scholars, clerics and officials attacked the notion that Islam commands its faithful to “spread their faith ‘by the sword,’” or that it has been largely spread by coercion.

“Islamic teaching did not prescribe that the conquered populations be forced or coerced into converting,” they said. “Had Muslims desired to convert all others by force, there would not be a single church or synagogue left anywhere in the Islamic world.”

While noting that “history shows that some Muslims have violated Islamic tenets concerning forced conversion and the treatment of other religious communities,” the Muslim leaders stressed that “forcing others to believe – if such a thing be truly possible at all – is not pleasing to God and that God is not pleased by blood.”

The letter questions the emperor’s assertion that that which Mohammad brought as new to religious understanding was “evil and inhuman.” “The Prophet,” it said, “never claimed to be bringing anything fundamentally new.”

“Faith in the one God is not the property of any one religious community,” the leaders continued. “According to Islamic belief, all the true prophets preached the same truth to different peoples at different times. The laws may be different, but the truth is unchanging.”

The 38 Muslim clerics, scholars and officials noted the roles both faiths play in the world community, and the special role that the pope plays on the global stage.

The relationship between Christianity and Islam, as the largest and second largest religions in the world accounting for more than 55 percent of the its population, is “the most important factor in contributing to meaningful peace around the world.”

“Yours is arguable the single most influential voice in continuing to move this relationship forward in the direction of mutual understanding,” they said.

“We share your desire for frank and sincere dialogue, and recognize its important in an increasingly interconnected world. Upon this sincere and frank dialogue, we hope to continue to build peaceful and friendly relationships based upon mutual respect, justice and what is common in essence in our share Abrahamic tradition,” they said. The 38 expressed Muslims’ appreciation for the pope’s expression of sorrow and clarification and his Sept. 25 statement of “total and profound respect for all Muslims” to a group of ambassadors from Islamic countries. “We hope,” the leaders concluded, “we will all avoid the mistakes of the past and live together in the future in peace, mutual acceptance and respect.”

The signers of the “open letter” included:

- Grand muftis from Russia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Syria, Egypt, Oman, Croatia, Kosovo and Uzbekistan.

- Educators from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Morocco, the United States, Gambia, Egypt, Malaysia, Belgium, Jordan and the United Kingdom.

- Other leaders from Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, India, Morocco, Indonesia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Bosnia.

Read also "Pope's Islamic stumble baffles the experts"



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