During a recent visit to his native Germany, Pope Benedict XVI quoted a letter from a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the prophet Muhammad as violent and inhumane, referring to his call to spread Islam “by the sword.” This has caused protests in the Muslim world similar to those over the Danish Cartoon event earlier this year.
I won’t go into the statements, only to say that they were made during a speech promoting interfaith dialogue. However, don’t you find it Ironic that those protesting his remarks seem to be some of the most violent people available? Calls for the Pope’s death, fire bombings, and a potential murder have all been linked to the reaction in the Middle East and Asia. How often has a Muslim leader made false, rude, or inappropriate statements about Christianity, Judaism, or the West? How often do we see cartoons about Jews, the Pope, or President Bush in Arab newspapers? Yet, how often do Americans, or Europeans, or Christians chant “Death to Islam”? How often do Westerners burn Saudi flags in our streets? How often do we attack the embassies of Muslim nations? How often? Like it or not, most of the world’s population is not Muslim, and a good portion of the world enjoys free speech. Like it or not, the rest of us are entitled to say what we want about Islam, where we want to say it, when we want to say it, be it factual or otherwise.
These protesters need a crash course in a little thing called freedom and democracy, and they won’t get it if we keep apologizing because we hurt their feelings. These protesters need to grow up and stop throwing these little temper tantrums, because it’s getting old.