Posts Tagged ‘Muhammad’

Some People Will Get Offended Over Anything: Pope Benedict XVI Owes No Apology

March 28, 2009 Leave a comment

By Richard Zowie

NOTE: This column originally appeared in

Whenever I can, I like to pitch ideas for radio programs to the stations that I’ve worked for. Among the ideas was a comedy hour, filled with various skits, fake commercials and a fake news broadcast. One of the many skits was a brief, five minute broadcast of a chess game with the broadcasters calling the match as if it were a professional wrestling event. Irony can certainly make for great humor.

One guy read about this idea I had pitched and told me how much he disliked my idea of doing an entire hour of a chess game broadcast.

“It’s not for an entire hour, just for five minutes of the broadcast,” I tried explaining to him. “Henry,” though, was insistent that I wanted to do an hour-long chess broadcast.

Finally, I asked him: “Henry, did you even bother to read my entire e-mail about the show?”

Now, I know exactly how Pope Benedict XVI feels.

Angry radical Muslims have been staging often-violent demonstrations against the German-born leader of the Roman Catholic Church in the form of riots, mass protests and the burning of papal effigies. Many have demanded an apology. Why the rage, you ask?

It all came down to his comments in a speech he gave in early September at Germany’s University of Regensburg. In the speech, titled “Three Stages in the Program of De-Hellenization,” the pope briefly referenced a conversation in the late 14th century between Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian regarding Christianity and Islam. Pope Benedict XVI mentioned how the emperor addressed the issue of jihad (holy war) and quoted the emperor: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

The pope then said that the emperor felt that violence was incompatible with Christianity and God’s nature and that the Christian faith should be spread through reason. After all, the pope reasoned, Jesus is known in John 1:1 as the “Word of God.”

Based on a text of the speech, the Pope Benedict’s comments regarding Islam accounted for less than 15 percent of the total speech. He used the rest of the speech to talk about the central theme: the “de-Hellenization” of Christianity (removing Christianity of its secular influences). Still, many Muslims saw a need to take the pope way out of context and get angry, protest violently and, ironically, confirm Emperor Paleologos II’s opinion of Islam.

The pope subsequently apologized for how his comments were taken, recently saying that he was “deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address at the University of Regensburg, which were considered offensive to the sensibility of Muslims.” Pope Benedict went on to say that the Emperor’s comments did not reflect his own personal view of Islam, but apparently that wasn’t enough. Some Muslims are calling on the pope to issue a further apology.

Why? The pope didn’t say anything to merit an apology in the first place.

Some people just don’t play well with others. It’s hard to believe that even the hard-core radical Muslims could get so offended by the Pope merely quoting a medieval emperor regarding their religion. But then, maybe it’s not so surprising.

After all, these are the same type of extremists whose newspapers in places like Iran and Egypt frequently feature racist caricatures of Jewish people but can’t seem to handle someone drawing a picture of Muhammad wearing a bomb for a turban. A few years ago, one Egyptian columnist openly lamented that Adolf Hitler wasn’t able to kill off all the Jewish people during the Holocaust-a shocking statement considering that many Muslim extremists will deny it ever happened.

These are also the same types of extremists who will torture and murder those who disagree with them, dumping their mutilated bodies to decompose and be picked by scavengers until discovered by the authorities. But if anyone kills even an al-Qaeda insurgent, they had better make sure the body is given a prompt and proper burial.
Yes, the same group of terrorists who will try to force captives to convert to Islam at gunpoint somehow can’t handle a non-Muslim missionary setting up a church in their country.

If you look at all these protestors as they burn American and Israeli flags and call for jihads, you’d think they’re the only people on this planet who have ever been offended. What exactly entitles them to corner the market on being offended?

Not the most diplomatic thing to say, but I’m really fed up with it all. I’m sick of the Islamofascists who feel at liberty to torture, rape, murder, maim and threaten all in the name of their own interpretation of their religion, but yet they expect the rest of the world to treat their religion with the highest respect possible while cowering and catering to their every wish. Why must we still cater to those who insist on living in the middle ages? Okay, they’re offended. Get over it, I say.

As a Christian, I find myself offended daily:
* By people who use the name of God and Jesus as expletives.

* By Madonna, who has been doing performances in her recent world tour where she is “crucified” on an illuminated cross. Absolute blasphemy, if you ask me.

* By Hollywood, which seems adamant on putting out anti-family, anti-God films when time and time again research shows that family-friendly films are the ones that thrive at the box office.

* By the music business which churns out albums with all the raunchy lyrics.

* By much of what I see on television.

* By an ever-passive world that seems more and more inclined to appease these evil radical Islamic thugs than to stand up to them and tell them, “We won’t let our free society be compromised or threatened by an evil organization that seeks to spread out its regime throughout every corner of the world.”

Yes, Christians like me often find ourselves offended daily by the world’s ugliness. But despite all these things that offend me, I don’t resort to burning flags, sending death threats, raping, torturing, murdering or strapping dynamite to my waist to go out on a suicide mission. I also don’t resort to kidnapping those who disagree with me and forcibly convert them to Christianity, nor do I put them on video and make them denounce Islam and its leaders and beg for American or non-Muslim captives to be set free.

I understand that this world is a diverse place, and that the only true way I can make a difference as a Christian is to be aware of the issues and events, pray for God’s guidance, share God’s love with others and live a life that shows others God’s amazing, boundless love. It’s a shame the world largely prefers to appease an irrational faction that will get offended over almost anything.