Islam, Violence, and Religion



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The Pope and the Poop

By Arthur B. Reich

It seems like everyone has heard about the statement that Pope Benedict XVI made about Islam being a violent religion. Of course, we are told, he really did not mean that statement, he was just quoting the late Byzantine emperor Manuel II, who had condemned Islam's militancy with these words: "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."

Of course the Pope really did not mean that he personally thought that Islam was violent, G-d forbid. This that the Muslim world reacted violently to the slur on their religion that they were violent was only to show that they are not violent. Besides burning several churches, and several minor attacks on Christians in Islamic countries, there were the various Imans' death threats to the Pope. This is to bring home the message that Islam is not a violent religion.

Not that we need to come to the Papal defense. The history of the Popes speaks for itself. The pope also said on that day "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," as he tried to issue an open invitation to dialogue among cultures. Hmm, sounds charming.

In his excellent book, The Popes Against the Jews, author David Kertzer documents the history of the papal reign from Benedict XIV, 1740 to Pius XII, 1958. In his well documented book he shows time after time how the Church with the encouragement of the various popes have developed anti-Semitism and utilized it to keep Jews in ghettos as second class citizens. Once the strength of the popes was broken by the enlightenment that spread through Europe, the popes used their various church newspapers to slander the progress that Jews achieved through out Western Europe and in doing so were the developers of modern anti-Semitism.

Although the popes would never call for pogroms, since officially Jews should be converted, not murdered, the church would excuse the violent and torturous killings of Jews because they were taking advantage of Christians. It was the enlightened Western European countries and their free press that defended the Jews and their needs for equal rights. Where was the "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul," in those days on the part of the church which often condoned attacks on Jews?

Now the clock seems to be turning for the Vatican, they are realizing that they must upgrade their image. Now they call on all religions to respect one another.

But we can easily accept the Pope's change of direction. After all he is on the bottom and he must get the Church to realize that the world is different than it was a hundred years ago. But what happened to the free thinking European press? Instead of the Western world mocking the Muslims for using violence to defend themselves from the accusation that they are violent – by which they nicely proved the validity of that Byzantine emperor statement, and the pope's usage, the news media seems to fear the violence of the Islamic masses.

It is a shame that there are so few voices that are willing to call a spade a spade and tell it like it is, that the Pope used that Byzantine emperor to bring out a point, a point that he could later deny as being his own. And yet the vast majority of the news media continues to ignore the fact that the violence proves the truth of the pope's statement – Islam is a violent religion. It does believe in violence and in using terror to expand Islam.

Hasn't anyone read the Koran? It is all there, but then again to see the poop as it is, you have to immerse your mind in it.


from the October 2006 Edition of the Jewish Magazine

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