Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pope-bashing

In Der Spiegel, Claus Christian Malzahn considers the threats made to Pope Benedict by Islamist groups in the context of earlier threats to public figures who have dared to criticize Islam: the satirical comedian Rudi Carrell, the writer Salman Rushdie, the feminist Ayan Hirsi Ali, the newspaper editor Flemming Rose. Malzahn comments (my tr.):
But the attacks on the Pope in Rome are particularly grotesque. The sharp criticism of Benedikt XVI's lecture in Regensburg, criticism often also combined with the threat of violence, is not only an attack on the head of the Catholic Church. The malicious twistings of his words and the absurd imputations of the resprentatives of Islam are also a frontal attack on free religious-philosophical discourse. The fact that an apparently ever-increasing number of people in the Islamic world can be tempted to follow this protest shows how influential Islamic groups have now become there. The political calculation is clear: any discussion between Christianity and Islam can only exist within the rules that have been specified by political Islamism.
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