Roger L. Simon

Ratzinger's zinger

In a BBC News article concerning the current crisis over the Pope’s words about Islam, we find the following:

The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says Pope Benedict, a theologian who has led a sheltered life in the Vatican for more than two decades, may not have understood the potential implications of his remarks.

Oh, really? The sheltered life here may be Wiley’s, as it seems to be often with his Beeb cronies. [Is everything “projection” to you?-ed. Well, not everything, but close.] I think Ratzinger knew perfectly well what he was saying and what he was saying is true. Violence is structured into Islam, because Islam dictates scripturally that the world must be Islamic via jihad (as opposed to Christianity, which says “Render unto Caesar… etc.”) and has never reformed on any level that is remotely permanent.

When this is pointed out, the Edward Said crowd says we materialistic Westerners just don’t understand what jihad means. But when we ask for it to be explained, we come out with … jihad. No wonder the Pope’s remarks engender brainless riots. There is no logical response. One can only applaud his honesty as opposed to our politicians who endlessly repeat the polite lie about a “great religion being hijacked” (by Wahabis, Salafists, Shiites … pick your hijacker). I question the efficacy of this lie. I prefer the Fallaci approach – direct and not dictated by fear (pace Tunku Varadarajan of the WSJ who seems to think the late Oriana was “afraid” of Islam). What we are dealing with here is a malignant belief system – and I say this not just because I am an agnostic. I recognize value in a whole host of religions, even in parts of Islam. But it is clear that this religious belief has oppressed its people (women particularly), kept masses of them in poverty and backwardness while enriching their rulers, and fomented deranged violence across the world from New York to Bali. What is an honest Pope supposed to say? Good on you?

In this post-cartoon universe, I guess he is. In Europe especially panic about Islam has set in. I for one applaud the Pope’s non-apology apology. I hope he sticks to it.

MORE from VDH.