Friday, September 22, 2006

Reaction of Islamists to Pope's words: no sense of humor or irony

Today's column from Charles Krauthammer, posted on is, as most of his columns are, richly nuanced and well thought out.

Sadly, no truer words were ever written

The irony of the offense

WASHINGTON -- Religious fanatics, regardless of what name they give their jealous god, invariably have one thing in common: no sense of humor. Particularly about themselves. It's hard to imagine Torquemada taking a joke well.

Today's Islamists seem to have not even a sense of irony. They fail to see the richness of the following sequence. The pope makes a reference to a 14th-century Byzantine emperor's remark about Islam imposing itself by the sword, and to protest this linking of Islam and violence:

Pakistani protesters hold a rally to condemn Pope Benedict XVI for his remarks about Islam which hurt the sentiments of Muslims, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2006 in Multan, Pakistan. Protesters continued to demand that Pope apologize fully for his remarks on Islam and violence. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer) -- In the West Bank and Gaza, Muslims attack seven churches.

-- In London, the ever-dependable radical Anjem Choudary tells a demonstration at Westminster Cathedral that the pope is now condemned to death.

-- In Mogadishu, Somali religious leader Abubukar Hassan Malin calls on Muslims to ``hunt down'' the pope. The pope not being quite at hand, they do the next best thing: shoot dead, execution-style, an Italian nun working in a children's hospital.

``How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I'll kill you for it'' is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation.

First, Salman Rushdie. Then the false Newsweek report about Koran-flushing at Guantanamo. Then the Danish cartoons. And now, a line from a scholarly disquisition on rationalism and faith given in German at a German university by the pope.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

This is what happens when you don't have a sense of humor! So unlike the Holy Father who has a wonderful sense of humor and steeped in humility.

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Denice Hanley, DPM, M.Div. said...

So true. The Holy Father has a sweet and humble disposition. And also a mischievous, but self-deprecating, sense of humor...

Partly, and as you've noted on several occasions, his mischievousness has been quietly demonostrated...

in his selection and wearing of a distinctly varied and humorous series of hats.


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