What they say:
Afghanistan's Taliban on Saturday demanded Pope Benedict XVI to apologise for remarks linking Islam with violence, adding the comment showed the Christian West was waging war against Muslims.And
“We urge you Muslims wherever you are to hunt down the Pope for his barbaric statements as you have pursued Salman Rushdie, the enemy of Allah who offended our religion. Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim. We call on all Islamic Communities across the world to take revenge on the baseless critic called the pope,” said [Sheikh Abubukar Hassan Malin, a hardline cleric linked to Somalia’s powerful Islamist movement, speaking to worshippers on Friday at a mosque in southern Mogadishu].And
“We want to make it clear that if the pope does not appear on TV and apologize for his comments, we will blow up all of Gaza’s churches,” said the group [The Sword of Islam, claiming the firebombing of the Greek Orthodox church, one of five attacked in Gaza City and the West Bank].And
A poster has been placed in many Baghdad mosques for the previously unknown group, Kataab Ashbal Al Islam Al Salafi (Islamic Salafist Boy Scout Battalions). This group threatens to kill all Christians in Iraq if the Pope does not apologize in three days in front of the whole world to Mohammed.(via Tim Blair) In addition,
Op-Eds published in the Arab newspapers slammed the pope even after the Vatican’s apology. The most extreme opinion was voiced by Hani Pahas in the London-based Arabic-language daily newspaper Al-Hayat, who wrote “the pope’s comments may lead to war; we fear that the pope’s statements may lead to a war that we, Muslims and Christians alike, are trying to prevent through dialogue between East and West. Hussein Shabakshy wrote in an article published by the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat “It is clear that such remarks only contribute to the fueling of the fire raging between Islam and the West. There is no difference between Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking from their caves in Tora Bora and the stage of an important Christian saint. Both parties contribute to the world verbal weapons for mass destruction. These are ignorant comments previously made by Adolf Hitler, who spoke of a supreme white race against all the other races, especially the African race."(via Jihadwatch)
The spiritual leader of Lebanon's Sunnis, the Grand Mufti Sheik Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, said the pope's remarks emanated either from "Ignorance and lack of knowledge or were deliberately intended to distort Islam.""Reason is the substance of Islam and its teachings ... Islam prohibited violence in human life. Anyone who wants the truth (about Islam) must take it from Islam's holy book, the Koran, rather than from a dialogue or excerpts," he said.
What they do:
Palestinians wielding guns and firebombs attacked five churches in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, following remarks by Pope Benedict that angered many Muslims. No injuries were reported in the attacks, which left church doors charred and walls pockmarked with bullet holes and scorched by firebombs. Churches of various denominations were targeted.(via Ninme) Furthermore,
According to the website Islam Memo, one Christian was killed in Baghdad after the Pope's speech two days ago. The speech created a wave of anger throughout the Islamic world, including Iraq.Our reactions:
David Warren sums up:(A New York Times editorial) [t]he world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal.This is obscene. Apart from its factual inaccuracy -- there is no evidence that any of the enraged Muslims "listened carefully" to the words of the pope -- this is like blaming a beaten wife for provoking the bastard who throttles her. It is the leaders of prayers in the mosques of the Muslim world who call on their faithful to riot in the streets. It is they who sow pain and incite violence, and anybody unburdened by a loathing of Western civilization knows it. Pope Benedict has nothing to apologize for. The leading clerics of the Muslim world have a great deal to apologize for.
The manufacture of grievances, to justify strident demands for their redress, is the tyrant's stock-in-trade. It is what took Adolf Hitler to power over the Germans, and it is what today's Islamic fanatics depend upon to control the Muslims, and push them towards an apocalyptic jihad against the West. Moreover, the basic tactic of bullying is to demand apologies for exaggerated or imaginary offences. It is to make the decent kneel before the indecent.(via Dinocrat)