The Benedictine Rule
From the desk of Joshua Trevino on Sun, 2006-09-17 07:53
The furor over the Pope’s speech in Regensburg is pitiable and unsurprising. Enough has been said on the content of the remarks: though it is stressed that Benedict XVI merely quoted Manuel II Paleologue’s condemnation of the historical legacy of Muhammed without expressing approval of the assessment, it does seem unlikely that the Vicar of Christ on Earth wholly disagrees with the penultimate Emperor. “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new,” the Pope quotes the Emperor, “and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
There are several points of protest against this passage, and the Papal invocation of it. Some argue that Muhammed never issued a “command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,” and that a statement to the contrary is therefore a slander on Islam and its Prophet. The historical evidence against this is thin: Muhammed himself was, among other things, a conquerer and eventual theocratic despot, and his successors hacked their way through Roman and Sassanian armies to seize the better part of the known world for the Caliphate. These were the very founding conditions of Islam, and the unkind contrast with the generally pacific circumstances of other faiths’ foundations – see Christ and the Buddha, for example – is stark. Islamic apologists claim variously that the Prophet was forced into his wars – remarkably and regrettably often for a man of peace – or that the Caliphate’s conquests were perversions of Islam, or that those conquests were rationally defensible actions in the historical context.
This is, to us non-Muslims, wholly irrelevant. We owe Muslims the respect due to them as possessors of the common natural rights of man – but we do not owe Muhammed or Islamic orthodoxy any respect for their own sake. The fact remains that whether Manuel II Paleologue’s estimation was accurate – and it was not wholly so – his final phrase, that a “command to spread by the sword the faith he preached” was “evil and inhuman,” is indisputably correct. It seems fairly clear, on historical and pragmatic grounds, that the doctrine of jihad is such a command, and has been since the time of the Prophet. Captives to the delusion that legitimate faith is ipso facto benign, such as the New York Times editorial board, insist that jihad primarily or meaningfully signifies a purely spiritual struggle, and therefore presumably should not per se be condemned. (One wonders whether the Pakistani parliament, in its irate defense of “the philosophy of jihad,” meant the NYT version of the concept.)
The defenders of jihad on these grounds engage in a profoundly foolish exercise. No reasonable non-Muslim condemns Muslim spirituality within its own bounds; and no Pope would bother speaking publicly on another faith’s adherent’s inner struggle for spiritual betterment. If jihad means peaceful spiritual betterment, so be it. Christianity too has a tradition of “spiritual warfare,” notably but not solely amongst the Orthodox – but it has managed to develop this without a lasting foundational and doctrinal accompaniment of proselytization by conquest and rapine.
When may this be said? When may it inform policy? When may truth, or even opinion, be uttered without fear of conflagration? Salman Rushdie still lives under threat of death. Danish cartoonists wrought inadvertent havoc across the globe. And now Benedict XVI is under threat of suicide attack from the “Mujahideen’s Army” and others – and churches in the Muslim world suffer for his words. “Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence,” said Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam. Indeed.
The Pope referred to a Byzantine Emperor, one suspects, purposefully. He may have wished to remind the Turks whom he is due to visit in November that Constantinople is a glorious prize wrested – by jihad, no less – from a predecessor more sublime than the Sublime Porte ever was. Or he may have wished to recall the extinguishing of the Eastern Empire by the very phenomenon of jihad that he condemned. (Since that breaching of the Constantinoplitan walls in 1453, only the Papacy itself remains as a lineal descendant of Imperial Rome’s great offices.) Whatever his reason, he could easily have recalled other episodes from its history that might have illustrated his point as well.
There’s an illuminating historical incident from the tenth century that deserves wider dissemination, and that the Pope might have used in lieu of Manuel II Paleologue’s quote. That Emperor was the last to enjoy a full reign in a free Empire; but nearly four hundred years before, the Empire was enjoying a resurgence. Manuel II Paleologue ruled barely more than Constantinople itself – but Nikephoros II Fokas ruled from Italy to the Caucasus, and from Bulgaria to Syria. He was a longtime foe of the Muslim Caliphate, and he observed that a signal advantage of the Muslims was their jihad doctrine. The Orthodox Church then – as now – regarded war as a regrettable necessity, with emphasis on the regrettable part, and soldiers returning from war would be made to perform some manner of penance before again receiving communion. By contrast, Nikephoros II Fokas observed that the Muslims who went to war were directly fulfilling the commandments of their faith, and were accordingly more motivated, violent, and relentless. The Emperor decided that the Christians needed a similar spiritual edge, and so he asked the Patriarch Polyeuktos in Constantinople to declare that any Christian who fell in battle was automatically a martyr. In effect, he requested a Christian version of jihad. The Patriarch and the entire Church hierarchy, so often in that era mere tools of Imperial policy, refused. The Emperor was forced to back down, and within a few short centuries, the Empire was overrun by the Muslims.
It’s a little-known turning-point – and certainly a relevant one for this day and age. As we look toward the plight of the Christians of the Middle East at large, we must be reminded that they are an embattled minority in large part because their doctrinal precepts are simply more humane. And as we look at the reflexive moves toward conciliation of the deathly host denouncing Benedict XVI – including, in a grim confirmation of Scruton’s warning of a “religion without irony,” Hamas, Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah! – we must be reminded that the lulling effect of that humanity renders too many of us incapable of grasping the awful magnitude of the peril before us. The Pope’s crime, in the minds of the Muslim masses denouncing him, is to allude to precisely this. The superior creed in the eyes of history may be that with the more force and fury on its side; but in the eyes of history’s God, the criteria for rectitude are doubtless rather different.
Show me just what Mohammed
Submitted by oiznop on Thu, 2006-09-21 02:02.
Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new,” the Pope quotes the Emperor, “and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
The truth hurts, doesn't it???
Manuel II Paleologue’s
Submitted by panamboy on Mon, 2006-09-18 07:53.
Manuel II Paleologue’s estimation was accurate – and it was not wholly so – his final phrase, that a “command to spread by the sword the faith he preached” was “evil and inhuman,” is indisputably correct. It seems fairly clear, on historical and pragmatic grounds, that the doctrine of jihad is such a command, and has been since the time of the Prophet.
These word seem to prove that what they mean are true then as they are now. Violence is the only way Islam knows how to respond to what ever they do not agree with. Proving that the only thing Islam has exported, to lands where they immigrate to, are "hate", "violence" and "destruction". Peace, prosperity and intellectual understanding has never been found to benefit any land or peoples whence they come to populate.
The more back down the more we will have to yield to their demands.
They have become the greatest spin doctors of the 19 and 20th century. The more they lie, the more others will tend to have doubt in what is truly happening.
Too slow to awaken - need genius types on our side
Submitted by Miriam on Mon, 2006-09-18 03:03.
Are we "incapable of grasping the awful magnitude of the peril before us"?
It is pretty easy for the islamofascists to know what Pope said in a matter of minutes all across the globe so they can savagely pounce on us. The sunni fascists used high tech tools and text messaging to aid boycott Danish diary products within a short while, and also internet tools to spread hate and venom in Iraq so as to murder the persecuted Shia - though in minority like the apartheid White. Yet we do NOT know anything of the persecution of weak segments in India, Thailand...etc over several centuries!..!!
Behind smoke and mirrors to hide their lies, the islamofascists have been savagely and repeatedly attacking and exploiting every weak segment of any population so as to keep them under islamic hegemony and subjugation, be it India, Thailand, Sri Lanka or Serbia or Kosovo.
By subverting the genius types to their perverse cause, they are profitting immensely as well. The lawyer who argued their case in the SUPREME COURT OF USA was a Hindu genius:=
Hamdan Lawyer Reacts to Bush Tribunal Proposal
Sep. 5, 2006
'Hamdan v. Rumsfeld': Path to a Landmark Ruling
All Things Considered, September 6, 2006 · Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal successfully argued the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan before the Supreme Court, leading to a ruling that the use of military tribunals for Guantanamo detainees stood in violation of U.S. and international law. Katyal offers his reaction to President Bush's legislative proposal to address the issue.
It is again a Hindu subverted genius, Arun Kundnani, working over-time arguing in favor of the islamofascists:=
Wont it be nice to have these genius types on our side?
Moderates among islamofascists using mafia tactics
Submitted by Miriam on Sun, 2006-09-17 15:30.
It is a chimera and mirage to imagine moderates amongst islamofascists might - one day in the far future - possibly come to our aid and save us from the savage wrath of the wretched islamofascists who can throw the most barbaric fits of juvenile tantrum at the most trivial of pretexts like the Pope's recent quote from an ancient King. Even the Pope cant tell the truth?! Silencing is also one of mafia tactics!!
First of all, clearly there are hardly any moderates! Even if there are a few, they are perhaps gleefully jeering at our plight:=
which says:= L.A. Muslim Leader Fights Effort To Block His Award Ori Nir | Wed. Sep 13, 2006
WASHINGTON — A Muslim activist in Los Angeles is fighting efforts by Jewish organizations to block him from receiving a prestigious human rights award.
The Human Relations Commission of Los Angeles County is planning, on October 5, to grant the John Allen Buggs Award for outstanding human relations work to Dr. Maher Hathout, a champion of interfaith dialogue and an advocate of reformist, modernist Islam. Jewish organizations are objecting to Hathout’s receiving the award on the grounds that he has made virulently anti-Israeli statements in the past.
This is a doctor who has the ill-repute of foul and stinky remarks offensive to the Israeli state. They all belong to the same pig sty!..! And what they say is mere hogwash!!! They are good at only one thing:= hogging our resources at the expense of the weak and the vulnerable like the THAIS, HINDUS, DARFURIANS, BERBERS, KURDS and so on. Now at the expense of the citizens of EU too.