Fr. Raymond de Souza, writing in Canada’s National Post, says that Muslim rioters may be showing that dialogue with
Islam is futile.
Benedict was quoting a 14th-century Christian emperor, under siege from the Ottomans, defending the position that spreading religion by violence is contrary to the nature of God. The Emperor, quite reasonably given his circumstances, suggested to his Persian interlocutor such a view did not prevail in Islamic thought.
In response to this historical excursus in an academic lecture by one of the world’s most erudite theologians, we are witnessing a wave of madness and malice, no doubt an embarrassment to millions of Muslims.
... It does a disservice to children to call the wild-eyed statements and deranged behaviour of the past days childish.
It is not only the obscenity of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist terrorist band suppressed in several Muslim states, demanding an apology from anyone, let alone the Holy Father.
It is not only the grandstanding Pakistani politicians passing resolutions condemning a papal speech few read, and even fewer understood. It is not only the extraneous charges about the Holocaust and Hitler by the agitated and excited.
What really rankles Fr. de Souza is that this sort of action against the pope is nothing new and that for every act of goodwill and mention of esteem by Catholics, there are a dozen acts of disdain and rudeness from Muslim leaders.
When Pope John Paul II made his epic pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Palestinian Muslim representatives jostled him on the Temple Mount, shouted at him, and, in one episode of maximum rudeness, abandoned him on stage during an interfaith meeting. Bashir Assad, the Syrian President, treated him to an anti-Semitic rant when the late pope visited Syria. Catholic goodwill toward global Islam is severely attenuated by such continued maltreatment of our universal pastors.
When the other side sees you only as an infidel and holds you to a standard he doesn’t abide by himself, can there ever be a real dialogue?
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