Who do you root for in a battle like this? I hate to agree with the Pope, but in this case he was right to pronounce that much of the Quran is “evil and inhuman” and that Islam was a religion spread by the sword. Of course, the same can be said about the Bible and Catholicism (and it is especially ironic for a Pope to object to religion being spread through violence), but at least Christianity absorbed enough of secular philosophy from the Enlightenment to humanize it so that it is no longer enforced with violence except in the rarest of circumstances.
But the irony of the whole situation is that the response from much of the Islamic world has only confirmed the validity of what he said. A demonsration in London included a Muslim extremist calling for the Pope to be killed for insulting Islam. As Bill Hicks says, that’s what fundamentalism breeds – no sense of irony. “Islam is a peaceful religion and we will murder anyone who says otherwise” is hardly the best way to make your case. Meanwhile, Al Qaeda got into the act as well:
Al-Qaida in Iraq and its allies said Muslims would be victorious and addressed the pope as “the worshipper of the cross,” saying “you and the West are doomed as you can see from the defeat in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere. … We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the ‘jizya’ tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (being killed by) the sword.”…
“You infidels and despots, we will continue our jihad (holy war) and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism, when God’s rule is established governing all people and nations,” said the statement by the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups in Iraq.
“Islam is not spread by the sword. Now convert to Islam or we will kill you with a sword.” Meanwhile, several churches have been firebombed and a nun was shot in the back in Somalia. Good going guys, we’re almost convinced that your religion is peaceful.