September 2006

I find it interesting that the Pope, for all the furore he has created, has quite successfully shifted the debate on Islam from “is Islam intrinsically militant and violent?” to the question of “has Islam contributed any good to civilisation at all?” It seems to me that, while Islam could be defended even if the former question was answered in the affirmative, a negative answer to the latter (towards which consensus seems to be leaning) will be mighty condemning.

So, two things: not only is Islam's legitimacy being seriously threatened, but—perhaps for the first time—a religion is being discussed purely in utilitarian, material terms. The proof is, indeed, in the pudding.

Amy commented:

I wonder sometimes about the blessing..

God promised to protect Hagar and Ishmael is it a bloodline blessing or that to the people in general??

Not answering your question at all but an interesting thought :)

Christina commented:

He he he... have just read the Wikipedia page on this, and it appears there were a few translation differences between the German and the English at some points - e.g the German "bad and inhumane" being translated into English as "evil and inhuman" (very well done translators :P).

I don't know if you could really say Islam's legitimacy is being seriously threatened, seeing as it's only one (and according to some people doddery and irrelevant and loony) old man so far - despite all the "power" his position affords. Although I'm sure this speech will have a rather large and far-reaching impact in some circles.

Curiouser and curiouser :)