Fence-Mending Still Needed

How many times after I made an utterance I wished I had not spoken quite so quickly and wanted to … Continued

How many times after I made an utterance I wished I had not spoken quite so quickly and wanted to bite my tongue out. Too late.

The utterance was frequently a quick sound bite and often off-the-cuff and unrehearsed. I don’t think that particular rubric applies to the Pope’s remarks. They happened in a formal lecture and were I think considered and made with deliberation.

There were times too when I did make prepared and considered statements but on reflection afterwards came to the conclusion that I could have made the same point but perhaps less stridently, in a less up-your-nose kind of way. I forgot on those occasions that you were likely to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

It seems to me that his Holiness might have made whatever point he sought to make less provocatively and given the heightened tensions already abroad — what with controversies over cartoons, the wearing of veils, etc. — all, especially high profile people, require the wisdom of a Solomon not to exacerbate already fraught situations.

It seems too from the Pope’s pointed apology–not for the offending quotation but for the reaction it provoked–that we will require some fence-mending. I take my hat off to him for venturing as it were into the lion’s den by visiting Turkey.

Of course all leaders, religious and otherwise, would want to urge their counterparts to tackle [interfaith tensions]. BUT and this is an important caveat,Christians should not be hoity-toity as if speaking from an exalted superior position. We should be suitably humble knowing certain facts about the adherents of our faith.

We should be hanging our heads in shame for the bloody wars of religion that have been waged in the name of the Prince of Peace; we should speak as those whose faith has produced those who were responsible for the Holocaust, who supported apartheid enthusiastically as consonant with the Christian scriptures, as those who have as fellow Christians the Ku Klux Klan, and those who have spewed forth so much homophobic hate, and those who thought God would be pleased if they killed doctors who performed abortions, who were driven by a religious zeal to let off the bombs of Oklahoma, who had a Christian President approve the use of weapons of mass destruction on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, remembering that it is Christians responsible for the atrocities in Northern Ireland and who were responsible for the genocide in Rwanda.

Yes they should speak with profound humility knowing that it is not the faith that is responsible but the faithful…that there are good Muslims as there are good Christians and there are Christians who are violent terrorists as there are Muslims who are violent terrorists; that no faith sanctions violence, cruelty, abuse of others etc. Rather, that all faiths propagate love, compassion, gentleness and caring.

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  • Wale Adeniyi

    I totally agree with Bishop Tutu. Christians ought to speak with some humility especially in light of those historical “Christian” atrocities that he eloquently enumerated. I also agree that religious leaders ought to stay away from deliberately inflammatory rhetoric. However I applaud the Pope for the courage to speak his mind on an issue on the mind of many. No religious leader should feel disqualified to make judgment calls on current situations because of the historical actions of his Church. The job of a religious leader is to reach for the soul of the people in the most sincere way he/she knows how, not to build consensus. Jesus our Lord was so driven by his mission that He did not care much for political correctness. Let religious leaders be religious, and politicians political. The onus is on the people to learn to respond to both in a civilized manner. The duty of the custodians of the law is to guarantee this, and Turkey is doing a great job.

  • NN

    “Moderate muslims”, for example, in Saudi Arabia? or Pakistan? Or Sudan? Or Somalia? Or Algeria? Where are these hundreds of millions of moderate muslims that we never see or hear from but are told so much about? Do moderate muslim condone slavery in Sudan? Do they approve of suicide bombers? Do they always have at the ready a justification for the criminal and stupid behavior of the followers of Mohammed? Why is it that islam cannot get along iwht anyone? Why does everyone hate the muslims? Only in your countries do people want you and not even then. You don’t have to be a Chrsitian to hate muslims, you only have to be a non-muslim human.

  • RR

    A festering wound, never healed, was brought to the surface by the Pope’s address. Now it is in the open where it has to be reckoned with. Benedict and Turkey may well get us on a road where we can all admit to the wound, dress it, try to make it well.If Benedict is trying to represent Christ, and I believe he is in his own imperfect way, what he said was no different than Christ’s discussion with the woman at the well. He brought transgressions out into the open and healed them.

  • JohnBrown

    Kudos, Moin Ansari!As a Jew, I had the greatest respect for His Holiness John Paul II. One of the reasons was his active outreach to Jews and Muslims. He went so far as to apologize to the Jewish people for the Church’s historical oppression of them, and referred to his actions as “t’shuvah,” the Hebrew word for religious repentance before God.Unfortunately, Pope Benedict XVI seems to be throwing aside his predecessor’s policies toward the other Abrahamic faiths. It is not just Jews and Muslims, but Catholics as well, who are the worse for it.

  • Omar

    Hi all or SalaamAlaikum (peace),First of all thank you Bishop Tutu of South Africa and his tireless efforts of bringing Muslim and Christian communities together by action and not just mere words. He is a source of sensical conversation unlike the many *bigoted* Islamophobic posts here threatening “end to your cult.” Tisk, tisk, tisk…Sometimes hatred is just easier than simply talking to someone…just as psychologists would say physically disciplining a child is “easier” as punishment than sitting down with him and talking with him to understand his behavior. So again I’m really enjoying these conversations and differing Points of view on “faith.” My favorite has been Imam Zaid Shakir, President Khatami of Iran, the always inspiring Dalai Lama, and of course Desmond Tutu.Thanks!

  • Stanislaus Pulle

    One cannot be a Catholic and at the same time deny the Nicene Creed. That Credo recites: “I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Faith..” Benedict the XVI wants to turn the klieg lights of reason onto faith and of course the Catholic intellectual tradition from Aquinas to Newman and now to Benedict (That TIME called “a walking theological encyclopaedia”) is without parallel. Faith sans reason is a fable- such as the worship of monkey gods- and a faith that is impervious to reason is a faith of charlatans. Such a faith can be used to justify suicide bombings which is what many imams, ayatollahs, sheiks, and muftis espouse. That Benedict XVI is directly confronting these canards is to his credit and to the benefit of all Christianity. This, Mr. Tutu is not being “hoity-toity.”

  • Tariq

    Where are the Muslim majority? Muslims represent approximately 2% of US population. They hardly have any chance of appearing at a primetime program in our media. To listen to them you may need to go to the web sites of Council of American Islamic Relationship (CAIR) or the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). But if you think that you will turn on your favorite radio station or TV channel and find the voice of the muslim majority, you will be dreaming. To get the Muslim reaction you need to go to international media and not US sources. This is the reality.

  • jake

    Yes, of course we should all be tolerant of those who practice beliefs other than ours.But what if those folks are completely intolerant of anyone else? What do we have then?We have missives like this from Mr. Tutu, encouraging us to apologize yet again for everything bad that was ever done by anyone in the name of Christianity.I ask again (though my previous post was deleted, and I expect many others critical of Mr. Tutu to go soon, too), where are Muslim apologies for the sins of the past committed in the name of Islam? What? Are there none?Atrocities have been committed in the name of all religions (yes, even Bhuddism), all states, all causes…it is the human condition. When do we get past saying “I’m sorry” to people who have no tolerance for anyone else and turn a blind eye to the horrible things being done in their own faith? Paid any attention to the civil war in Iraq lately? It’s muslim killing muslim, all in the name of their brand of Islam.And I too have heard much about moderate muslims, but they seem to have little sway in the muslim world, and I hear very little condemnation of the vitrolic hatred that spews forth from many Imams who routinely call for death to anyone who disagrees with them. And we know they mean it literally.

  • UU

    Thank you Archbishop Tutu, your words are worth reading. But to others, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You have not learned the hard lessons of history. You are as evil as the ones you point to as evil. Every bit as evil, every inch and millimeter the mirror of the evil you throw your stones at.Shame, shame, shame unto you.

  • Paul Grandpierre

    Love each other and be wary of religion (all of them). Religions are social institutions purporting to be founded on divine providence. Such institutions, including the monarchies of the present and past, are as harmful as they are useful. Religion can unite us and that’s good. But religion can also divides us. Worse, it (religion not God) fosters orthodoxy and excuses atrocities against dissidents and nonbelievers. I approve of religious charities and other benevolent and life promoting buy products of religion. But we have to ask ourselves when does the good outweigh the bad. We should also ask: can members of disparate religions coexist with religion as a principal basis of social identity? The answer is yes we can so long as religion is subordinated to the rule of laws that strike a balance between pragmatism and dogma and fosters tolerance. We need to remain circumspect and tolerant because no human being should ever purport to be acting on God’s behalf. God simply is – all any human being (including the many exalted religious leaders in the world) can do is try to perceive God and become instruments of God’s purpose. I beg our religious leaders’ pardon, but all other “religious” enterprises are secular or pseudo political/social in nature.

  • Kostya

    I am Russian. The Chechnyans had attempted to create a state in southern russia. They had de-facto independance for 4 years. Their state became a nexus of criminal activity. Russia has a lot of crime, and still that criminal activity stood out. The chechens ran things however they pleased. This made Russia feel weak and inefective. We felt we were being abused by a small bunch of bandits. We attacked them and ensured a long and bloody war. There are those that said we could have built a wall around them, isolated them, but how could we have done that with so many Russians living there? Russians gave up a lot in the 90’s, but there was a point we would not cross. Now of course the chechens were muslims and now of course the russians think worse of muslims in general. Bosnia, Kosovo conflicts added to the problem. Its all well and good to say, lets not judge religions based on the actions of their adherents. But do not be fooled: this is the way judging is done. My actions will make people to conclude things about russians. Whenever I do somtehing, people will ask, who is this man? Is he Russian? Aha. I do the same thing to others. For the past three years I have been living with three muslim roommates, from all parts of the world. I have now been aquainted with Muslims from Gaza, Egypt, Dubai, Malaysia. I found them to be good roommates, intelligent people to converse with on the topic of religion and politics, although I have to restrain myself from saying certain things because there are arguments that cannot have a winner. We are friends because the circumstances allow and I am grateful for this opportunity. Under different circumstances we might have been enemies, but because of my experience now Muslims do not seem so strange to me any more, I have seen more than the photos of bearded Chechen rebels. The powerful countries of the world are showing amazing restraint. I have heard this started with the refusal of the American president to drop a nuclear bomb on Chinese forces in North Korea, as suggested by D McArthur. Pope Innocent III would have dropped a nuke on Mecca a long time ago. I would not, but he would have. So beware when you compare today’s Pope to the monsters of the past. But noone talks of this restraint. Perhaps, because it is rather superficial, and when one tallies the dead Chistians and Jews and Muslims in conflicts between the former and latter far more muslims die (for example in the Iraq war and Chechnya). I am sick of hearing, “We are better than the terrorists because we try to minimize the collateral damage”. Jesus said, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The end result is what matters much more. Muslims view the West based on their actions. You can talk to my roommate from Gaza all you want about democracy but you wont change the fact that he hates Caterpillar tractors for destrying palestinian houses. American tax dollars keep his people in the stone age. He judges actions, not words, and I do too.

  • Asim

    Dear Friends,The West needs to understand all this and know where are Muslims coming from…more importantly it needs to deal with The Root Causes and grievances causing the frustration of Muslims…Then engage in a sincere dialogue for peaceful and productive co-existence and NOT for domination… Now back to the pope whose position so far has been evasive and vacillating on the question of an apology: only regretting the pain, agony and insult his remarks inflicted on 1.5 billion Muslims but not apologizing for causing that pain and insult.If he is really sincere about a Muslim-Christian dialogue HE needs to walk in the footsteps of Jesus,show some humility and apologize to Muslims in a Crystal Clear and Unequivocal fashion about three major issues:1// His inexcusable and uncalled for insults in the now infamous lecture at Regensburg which caused untold pain, agony and insult for some 1.5 billion Muslim souls. His remarks were ill-advised as an academic, as the head of the largest Christian Church and as a head of a state; Let the pope walk in footsteps of Jesus and show some humility by apologizing for the above grievances which will go a long way to help reconcile the two sides.

  • Rafiu

    Just this sampling of opinions displays the difficulties in the idea of “fence-mending” faiths. The belief in a particular God (in my case Christ), fundamentally, creates divisions. This is just the truth. But, I think many of us are missing Bishop Tutu’s point, and I quote “it is not the faith that is responsible but the faithful.” It is the actions of the faithful that bring shame to their faiths.As a African-American and Minister I am confronted with the truth that the Christian faith has been used to prop up ideas of human slavery, the de-humanization of people of color and other atrocious actions. So Bishop Tutu has a very relevant position, it is to approach the world with an abscence of humility to address the failures of others in history or the present, without straining our statements through the lens of our particular faith’s behavior.

  • E. B. Rideout

    Compare Bishop Tutu’s humble common sense with the pedantic double-talk of the Pope’s Regensburg “lecture”. The former’s comment earnest but tactful, the latter’s deliberately provocative, a “holier than thou” affront to one and one half billion human beings whose only sin is that they’re not Catholics.Sincere peace-loving Catholics – and there are many –

  • U-235

    Why do you always scream about “islamophobia” when many of us are “islamopaths”? Do you understand the difference? You will one day.

  • Barry Crook

    Asim says: “If he is really sincere about a Muslim-Christian dialogue HE needs to walk in the footsteps of Jesus,show some humility and apologize to Muslims in a Crystal Clear and Unequivocal fashion about three major issues:1// His inexcusable and uncalled for insults in the now infamous lecture at Regensburg which caused untold pain, agony and insult for some 1.5 billion Muslim souls. His remarks were ill-advised as an academic, as the head of the largest Christian Church and as a head of a state; What are you smoking Asim? The Pope did not insult anyone with his remarks — what is insulting and inexcusable is the inability of 1.5 Muslim souls to listen and to acknowledge the evil that infects their religion today. When you spend all your time in outrage over something that happened 600 years ago, is there any wonder that you appear to be totally out of touch with the real world?This poster is emblematic of the problem in the world today — Muslims who have their head in the sand and who blame everyone but themselves for their tolerance of those 300-400 million Muslims who are violent and intolerant of everyone else in the world. It should be obvious how difficult it will be to negotiate a peaceful path with people who aren’t interested in peace and dialogue.

  • Axel Foley

    We are sick and tired of you muslims and your endless whining and sniveling. Interesting how you don’t refer at all to the muslim invasion and occupation of Spain several hundred years before the First Crusade. You also don’t mention the invasion and conquest of Asia Minor and Constantinople, Greek cities for over a thousand years. I wonder why? When will muslims apologize for the slavery practiced by muslims in Mauritania, Senegal, and Sudan today, in the 21st century? Darfur? Mumbai? Chechnya? Kashmir? Bosnia? Sooner or later you will have every hand raised against you and no one will stop it nor care.

  • Jay Sanders

    Wow! Lots of responses.BOTTOM LINE:Mohammed advocated violence, Christ did not.

  • Teresa Lucas

    As a Catholic, I was saddened to see the reaction to the Pope’s comments and shocked to see the immense hatred it sparked. Are most Muslims so intolerant that a mere statement can cause pandimonium (or a cartoon)? Apparently, open dialogue is not an option for some extreme Muslims, so this begins to feel like there will always be a rift. It scares me to think that if you are not fighting the “Holy War” your views are not only wrong, but need to be wiped out. This does not bode well for the future, with most of the countries starting to band together against Israel and America. We can only pray for peace and tolerance.

  • Anonymous

    I dont see anymore posts

  • Andy

    I know of the atrocities of which the Church must repent of, and we must do this continually for the shame we have brought on the Body of Christ and the harm we have done to many humans undeserving of those punishments. But are we really to be blamed for the Holocaust? Was that not more from humanist thought than Christian thought? What about Stalin and Pol Pot? Are the secular humanists repenting for that?Just a thought.Soli Deo Gloria.Andy

  • RON MAC

    I NOTICE THAT LOTS OF COMMENTS ARE NOT GHISTORICALLY BASED, WHILE OTHERS ARE SOMEWHAT.

  • Kaushik Ghosh

    Remarks of the Pope was very unfortunate and for that he needs to mend fences with the community that he offended. As mentioned by reverend Tutu that faithful not the faith is responsible for the wrong deeds in the world. Religion is a way to respect the supernatural. Bringing it up as a pretext to violence and carnage is deplorable be it for any cause. Father of my Nation, India proved to the entire world way back in the 30’s and 40’s of the 20th century that one can achieve success by following the path of peace and non-violence. I wish today’s modern world would learn something from it. Religion is for spiritual gratification and realization of God and it’s purpose ends right there.

  • soc7

    What I hate most about ‘political correctness’ is that it often comes in the form of a lie. To call the garbageman a “sanitation engineer” and thus lump him into the same catagory as Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers, or Electrical Engineers is ridiculous. The garbageman is an unskilled laboror while the other “Engineers” are university graduates, trained in mathematics and the sciences. I don’t want to demean or insult any man who earns an honest living, but does ‘respect’ mean that I have to drowned a laborer with unearned titles of education or accomplishment? Is it an insult to call him what he is?The pope’s comments are but one of many cases where the Muslim insistance that we ‘respect’ their religion sometimes amounts to a lie. The current pope quoted the opinion of one of his long-dead predecessors. He did not endorse that opinion, but repeated it as a statement of fact – no one appears to argue the point that the midevil pope said what he is accused of having said. The current pope brought this opinion up emphasize a point he wanted to make later in his comments.Another example where we supposedly ‘disrespected’ Islam occured when Danish cartoons depicting Mohammad with a bomb for a turban that appeared earlier this year. Whether you agree with the point the artist was trying to make misses the point. The point is – many Muslims consider any depiction of Mohammad, no matter how flattering, to be idolatry. Every one of these depiction is (to many of them) an insult.This is more than say-no-evil. This is say-nothing. It is an end to all dialog. We SHOULD gage our words carefully when commenting on a faith not our own, but when issues do arise, we SHOULD NOT lie or water-down the truth. We will never find common ground in silence, nor will we find the truth in lies and half-truths.The Islamic world has more than its share of violence. It was a violent place before our envolvement in Iraq and if we leave the region it will most likely continue to be violent – will silence fix that? If we call every man a saint whether he is or not, will the violence end amidst the flood of inevitable ‘good’ feelings?I do not hate Muslims, but Islam and the West are at a place where tough love may be a better answer to our problems than pretending that all of us are engineers or that a unflatering observation is always preferable to a ‘honorable’ silence.It would also be nice if a little of this ‘respect’ for others we disagree with was reciprocated by our Muslim brothers.

  • fern

    Someone pointed me to an article in Haaretz: An excerpt that is very much to the point about the Islam/West situation:Envy the extremist.Envy him his freedom from ambiguity, his immunity from ambivalence. Only the extremist knows exactly why there is no moral equivalency between the sides, and that only his side is in the right.Only he knows what the world does not, what the world refuses to see. Only the extremist knows what many on his own side refuse to see, either because they lack his vision, or they lack his loyalty. Only he knows who’s at fault for all our ills. The other side. Only the extremist knows who started all this suffering, who’s entirely to blame, who are the transgressors, why they’re the real villains.What is this drug that allows us to thrive while the rest of us stew in the misery their actions and beliefs cause us?It is the drug that is compounded of old dreams. Dreams, rivers and mountains and bottomless reservoirs of dreams, are the cultural birthright of our peoples, the Jews and the Palestinians both.In the past, our dreams were all that we could truly rely on as possessions. Little wonder that we cannot bring ourselves to part from them.It will take radical action to do so. It will take radical action on the part of people unaccustomed to viewing themselves as radicals. It will take a willingness to take the most radical step that anyone who loves and lives in this Holy Land of ours can take:To see the person on the other side, not as the Other Side, but as a person.

  • Anonymous

    Pardon me, but the Pope was more dismayed by the reaction to his offending comments in the Muslim world, than the fact his remarks offended a whole faith. Thus, his apologies did not reflect that he was wrong in his comments. To me it seemed more like Muslims were wrong to feel offended and react so much to his comments, since he meant no harm?? Muslims need permission to feel so, too, now?Extremism exists in all faiths. In fact extremism often is cloaked with faith to give it some “justification”. So let’s not just point fingers at Islam/Muslims only. Extremists are also Christians, Jewish, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists etc etc and etc. and throughout history.One most recent example. The Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda-Burundi about 10 years ago slaughtered each other to nearly a million people. Both were of Catholic faith. Only them small minority Muslims here gave refuge to those of either tribe seeking refuge to save their lives. So, let’s not just point at Islam/Muslims only.deshi

  • michael II

    Asim – Where are all the moderate muslims? I don’t ever hear from them – when a nun is murdered – where are they? When violence erupts over a cartoon(!!!!), where are they? If they are a majority, they certainly don’t act like one.Every group, religious or not, will eventually get insulted by others – how they react is a telltale sign of who they really are. When muslims react to cartoons with violence, react to a speach with violence, react to anything with violence, it speaks to how they see themselves in the greater world.Also, the pope’s speach, talked about violence within islam, and what happened? More violence – what does that say about muslims – that the pope’s point was accurate – islam does teach violence against others. Do the christians react this way? (albiet they once did, ala the Crusades) How about the jews?

  • Alexei Poplov

    Michael II,”If they are a majority, they certainly don’t act like one.”Don’t forget that the Nazis were always a minority in Germany. Do you believe that all non-Nazis should have tried to prevent the genocide of Jews, gypsies, Communists, and other “undesirables?”

  • darthzeller

    “Do you believe that all non-Nazis should have tried to prevent the genocide of Jews, gypsies, Communists, and other “undesirables?”Yes, I do. Most chose not to however which means that they condoned the actual actions of the minority. If people would stand together and be heard rather than complacent things would change. Look at the US the moderates stood up and removed people from office since they were doing nothing to help the US be a great country. Why are the Iraqis constantly blaming others for there own problems?

  • erik

    Yes, it is important for Christians not to dismiss other religions as beneath them and below them, because many atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity, and quite likely many others to a lesser degree, aside from Buddhism. And yes Christians commit murder, war, rape, and other crimes, as they are people, no more and no less. However, I do not believe there have been recent Christian terrorist attacks or declaration of war for a global Christian Ummah. Muslim anger towards any criticism of their religion, shows that a significant portion of this faith’s adherents are intolerant of other religions. The twisting of the Hadith to suit male chauvinism, the stated direction in the Quran to achieve a global Islamic society, and the justificiation used for a jihad that includes physical acts, which many prominent muftis and mullahs addressed in a letter to the Pope last year, demonstrate, that many Islamic leaders aspire to spread the religion worldwide, including through physical mean, and reactionary resistance against this tide is necessary. Also, the center of Islam, the Arabians peninsula, aside from the UAE, deny reciprocity to non-Muslims and moreover, persecute and spreading of other religions. A non-believer is not even allowed within Mecca? Should Catholics prohibit non-Christians from visiting Rome to go tit-for-tat? While I do not believe violence is the answer, it seems their seems be a potent danger permeating from some adherents to this religion, and a lack of response from within the Islamic community to counter it.

  • Carli Pierson

    I completely agree with the Archbishop Tutu. The Popes comments could not have come at a more inopportune time. Additionally, In response to “where are the good Muslims?” the answer is: they are all over. They are your doctors, your attorneys, your engineers and graphic designers, your software consultants and IT professionals. They have families, and professions and hobbies just like you. I generally find that if people are asking the question ” why are Muslims not speaking out?” it means that they are not looking to the right sources. I think a better question is: Why must Muslims always respond? Especially when then feel that their faith has nothing to do with the political turmoil, or random acts of violence that have more political undertones than religious ones. Did Christian leaders stand up and say- No, this has nothing to do with our faith after Oklahoma City? No, because logically, everyone knew that mass murder is not a tenant of Christianity. When Israeli tanks bulldoze Palestinian homes without warning, do we draw illogical conclusions that bulldozing residences is part of the Jewish faith? Certainly not. Because it is political, and has nothing to do with religion.

  • Barry Crook

    Just like Desmond Tutu to place all the blame on the West or the Catholic Church and none on the Muslims. The Pope was right to say what he did, if there is ever a time and a person to take up the cause of forcing Islam to take a deep look inside itself and act responsibly to disassociate itself from those who use Islam for violence and hate it is now and this Pope. Desmond Tutu could rehabilitate his image as a hater of the U.S. and the West by lending his voice to this cause, not denouncing it. It is Islam that needs to heal itself with the world, not the world that must heal itself with Islam.

  • mark

    Just to be fair, nations of buddist heritage have done their share, I think.

  • Enemy Infidel

    To the muslim idiot: Oklahoma City had nothing to do with religion you fool, and McVeigh never ONCE claimed to be acting under a religious motivation. Also, your claim that these acts are political and not religious does not correpond with the words that comes out of their mouths. Why do they call themselves “Party of God” or Islamic Holy War” if it has nothing to do with religion. To answer your question “why should muslims respond?” I would suggest that alleged “good” muslims like yourself had best resppond before it is too late for you and your families. Either control the extremists elements within your disgusting faith or suffer the consequences Mustafa. You are very far from Mecca but very close to those who hate you… don’t ever forget that muslim.

  • Jeremy

    It would have been one thing if Timothy McVeigh had sent out a message saying he was going to blow up the Murrah Building to glorify the name of the Most High Jesus Christ. He never made it a point to include any religious undertones (if indeed there were any, I for one have no idea) into his actions. When the Jewish army runs through the West Bank, they don’t spray-paint Stars of David and hang Torahs on every doorpost. Any extremist act propagated by a Muslim though, comes imbued with a religious tagline. That’s the difference, and that is why every news source immediately runs out to find a Muslim cleric to say that his is a religion of peace as soon as an event happens. “Muslim” extremists have made sure that their religious “notions” are at the forefront of their actions, and the press refuses to see this for what it is: a world-class attention grabber.

  • Heather

    I think it is very refreshing to hear a man of faith speaking in defence of others: not only those who hold the exact tenants of his religeon, but those who have been mistreated in the name of radicalism. He speaks very rationally and pointedly regarding humankind’s use of religeon to further earthly agendas; agendas which can frankly have lasting and negative effects on the lives of others . . . and I have a great respect that he points that this Radicalism can be found in any religeon or mindset, including his own.Radicalism in any form is ugly, and the source is narrowness of mind and the looking at those who hold moderate but different beliefs to be the “others” . . . alien and inhuman, instead of many fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters only hoping to live a happy life, free from violence and the use of politics—governmental or religious—to tear apart lives.

  • Moin Ansari

    Titles do not make men great, it is deeds and words. Mr. Gratzinger has not shown integrity in admitting his mistakes or the mistakes of the Catholic Church. Mr. Gratzinger, was propelled to the position of Pope because of his “Conservative” and “Evangelical” positions viz a viz Protestants, Jews and Muslims etc. If Mr. Gratzinger has talked garbage against Muslims, wait a few, other faiths will face the same ridicule. Mr. Gratzinger still has to apologize to the Muslims for the Inquisition and for his own uncalled for Regensburg remarks against the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Heather

    and I hope those who are posting with so much hatred and bitterness are looking inside of themselves and asking why they are doing that?pointless to get into fights over blogs, but your comments are completely irrational and display the very hatred or extremism you are accusing an innocent poster of harboring . . . which is actually kind of funny . . . but sad.Cup of tea anyone?

  • Dr. Karadzic

    If you are waiting for apologies you will have long to wait. Chechnya, Kashmir, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Southern Thailand, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc., all have the common denominator that precious muslims who feel “offended” are involved. If you feel that people are attacking your slave cult now, just wait. The future looks bright and I hope your emergency services are up to the task that they will surely have to face in the not-so distant future. Embrace your fate Abdul and leave while you still can.

  • Moin Ansari

    A moderate Muslims does not mean a non-Muslim. A moderate Muslim does not mean someone who is Christian in thoughts on beliefs. A moderate Muslim is someone who respect Chrsitianity and Christians and other religions.A moderate Christian is one who does NOT listen to the bigots on “Foxy” and elsewhere. A moderate Christian is not one who secretly or opnely expects Muslims to become Christians. A moderate Christians is one who respects Islam and other religions. Finding moderate Muslims is easy, stop listening to the bigots of the world and find one in the nearest mosque or in your neighborhood.Seek out a Muslim and befiend him/her. It will be a rewarding experience. Friendship and hospitality will energize and improve everyone.

  • Michael

    Craig,You make a good point. There are many beliefs, many books. The Bible is but one, and it’s the one I need, and the one I know, and so all I can throw out are Bible passages. This is America and I’m not mad at you. You go for what you want Champ! I did not go from being a “Pagan” to a Christian overnight, and I have tolerance for all who are like I once was. There was a time when I was “off the hook.” Now I’m hooked, booked and gotta new look. Peace. Love. Happiness.By the way, all of this is good dialogue.

  • John Thornton

    It is nice to see someone such as Archbishop Tutu speak out on any issue. I find his manner of speaking thoughtful and intelligent. The responses above in some cases point out that there have been no recent terror acts in the name of Christianity…does this mean they have never happened? Clearly this is not the case, and let he who is without sin cast the first stone, in the case that is Christians. No one is without sin or error in their ways, but I would venture to say that there are a lot more peaceful Muslims than violent ones, much more peaceful Jews than violent ones, much more peaceful people on this Earth than violent ones, yet we tend to hear more about the violence becasue it is an aberration from the norm. A sad one at that. Regardless of gender, color, race or creed we are all one on this earth and a death anywhere is a crime against us all. “Gentleness is a trait of the strong. The weak have not the character to be gentle and forgive.” Gandhi

  • John Olsen

    I despair after reading so much anger and vitriol in response to Archbishop Tutu’s profoundly simple point: that we are all of us human, with all the potential for hope and pain, love and cruelty that that entails.In the above comments, we have accused one another for the violent acts of a thousand years gone, and forgotten everything that we owe to one another. Some of us have demanded apologies from our Muslim brethren for the conquest of Spain in 711 – forgetting that it was Andalucia that reintroduced Europe to science, and mathematics, and that is was the Catholic Monarchs, not the emirs, who converted Spain by the sword. Some of us have expressed rage over the Crusades, though we are separated from them by generations uncounted. Even as we deny responsibility for the actions of our ancestors, we demand apologies, and a pound of flesh, for the pain they endured.We are all human. Our ancestors conquered our ancestors who enslaved our ancestors who forced our ancestors to hide their beliefs. We will never be able to tally the accounts for the past. We can only deal with the present.Many, many of us have demanded to know where the “moderate Muslims” are. blinding our eyes to the thousands of men and women we pass in the street every day, who work beside us in Detroit and New York, Chicago and Sugar Land, Toronto and Minneapolis, who serve in Congress and Parliament. Which is to say nothing of the untold millions who want nothing more than to live their lives in piece from Morocco to Bosnia to Indonesia.We have taught ourselves just enough about one anothers’ faiths to pretend knowledge when we make our accusations.Archbishop Tutu, despite the anger that has been written in response, asked only that we remember our common imperfection, remember that it is easier to blame one another than to admit our own ignorance, and try, just try, to reach out for one another.I despair that it seems we are incapable.

  • professorpurplepants

    Faith is a very glorified word for believing things that have no or little basis in reality. Believing things on faith would be fine if we didn’t believe our faith was absolute truth and then fight with others about who’s right and who’s wrong. Faith might give us some reassurance about life after death, or that someone is watching out for us, but for the most part it plays out violently on the world stage and the victims are always the women, children and animals.It is better for people with different beliefs to take steps to get along and I applaud the Pope and everyone else willing to take steps outside their comfort zones and beyond the boundaries of their imagined self concepts. Yet the results of our belief systems have consistently deteriorated into war and I think that it is time to seriously question the efficacy of the very process of faith, take a quiet and long look at the falseness of belief and the importance of facing physical and elemental reality and lay our belief systems to rest. Perhaps we could have ritual funerals for Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. and let Jesus, Mohammed, Moses and the rest of them finally rest in peace. Then we can get on with the real work of being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, take care of our Mother Earth and finally stop pretending to be something we are not.Let the Pope and the head honcho of the Eastern Church and all the Ayatollahs and all the Rabbis and all the heads of state take their clothes off (their signs of high office), take a sweat together and realize they are humans who do not have any better grasp on the truth than the easter bunny and probably less than their pets.I am currently doing some writing on these subjects and invite you to visit my website at http://www.professorpurplepants.com

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