Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Der Panzerpappen

Power Line to der Panzerpappen (no link): stop apologizing already! (Incidentally, Spot did not coin the name Panzerpappen, but he can’t remember where he read it for purposes of attribution.) Don’t worry guys; he hasn’t really been apologizing. He’s made a couple of those it’s too bad so many people died, I was misunderstood, mistakes were made, sorry you took offence kind of apologies. Of course, it’s hard to ‘fess up to a boo-boo when you tell everyone you’re infallible. It creates a grinding cognitive dissonance, probably for der Panzerpappen, too.

The ruckus of course is over the pope’s quotation, with evident approval, of Manuel II Palaeologus to the effect that Islam was a violent religion. Never mind the crusades and the Inquisition.

Via Empire Burlesque, this letter was printed in the Guardian (UK):

If I were a Muslim I don't know what I'd find more surreal; being lectured on the "evil and inhuman" nature of my beliefs by an ex-member of the Hitler Youth, or the fact that when Manuel II Palaeologus wrote his infamous letter he was sitting in the ruins of an empire still shattered by the attentions of Pope Innocent III's fourth Crusade in 1204, a violent sack in which a large part of the population was massacred by their fellow Christians.

This particular example of spreading the Christian faith so unimpressed the late John Paul II that he was moved to comment: "How can we not share, at a distance of eight centuries, the pain and disgust," in an address in which he also apologised to Muslims for the Crusades. If Muhammad did command the spreading of the faith by the sword, what was he doing if not following the Catholic example?

Dr Jon Cloke

School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University

As comments to the Empire Burlesque post discuss, boys and girls, the last sentence of Professor Cloke’s letter was metaphoric, ironic even. Which is why the Power Line boys probably won’t get it. The post quotes extensively from Karen Armstrong, too; Spot recommends the whole thing.

Then this morning, Gwynne Dyer, a journalist from the UK, had this trenchant op-ed piece in the Star Tribune. Dyer says that der Panzerpappen is not all that darn sorry. She calls the new pope, rather charitably in Spot’s opinion, parochial and intolerant. Dyer notes that the pope, before his metamorphosis into the pope, said that Islamic Turkey should not be admitted to the Christian EU. He also said that Islam was a religion that tended toward violence, and he entertained the virulent anti-Muslim journalist, Oriana Fallaci.

Spot says that Dyer’s concluding analysis it spot on:

The real reason for the uproar is that so many Muslims feel under attack by the West. Two Muslim countries have been invaded by the United States and its allies since 9/11, and another, Lebanon, has been bombed to ruins by Israel with full U.S. and British support.

At least 20 times as many Muslims have died in these brutal wars as the number of Americans who died in the 9/11 attacks, and almost none of them had anything to do with that terrorist atrocity. So the suspicion grows among Muslims that all this is not really about 9/11 at all, and almost any minor insult to Islam from the West is enough to trigger outrage from Morocco to Indonesia.

We haven't achieved a full-scale "clash of civilizations" yet, but we're making progress.

Don’t you think that sounds about right, boys and girls?

Update: Da Wege points out that Gwynne is one of those @#$%^&* gender-confused British names, and that she is really a he.


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