Saturday, September 16, 2006

Make Your Decision

A selection of the public reaction on the BBC website to comments by the Pope which allegedly insult Islam, for which he has since appologised:

The Pope should not apologize until Islamic leadership--particularly in the middle east--forcefully condemns terrorist activity in the name of Islam.

Steve Knudsen, Bloomington, United States

With all that is going on is the Pope wrong?


Unfortunately we live in a world, where freedom of speech is curtailed, and comments are purposefully taken out of context and blown out of proportion. If violence does erupt because of this it'll only emphasize the notion that maybe Islam isn't a religion of peace.

Jason, Northampton

Having read a transcript of the Pope's remarks, it is easy to see that no offence was intended. Raised as a Muslim I am often saddened by other Muslims protesting based on incorrect facts, and never protesting when our religion is used as a cover for mass murder. This is another example of a lack of faith from these fanatics, true faith cannot be brought down by comments, words or pictures. I just don't understand the reasoning behind inflicting suffering and hatred, how can this be God's will?

Saj Khan, Sydney Australia

Please, before you make up your opinion about this issue, read the speech made by the pope first! The quotations in the news are out of their context and do not reveal the true philosophical and fundamentally religious (both Islamic and Christian) meaning. If you read the full speech, you will understand both religion and the pope's true intentions.

Go to the Vatican's official website and find the original speech there! Read it please!

R Seong, London, United Kingdom

The Pope absolutely must NOT apologise. He has nothing to apologise for. The hysteria generated within the Islamic world is part of a continuing effort to intimidate the West by fundamentalist Islam. It must not be allowed to succeeed

Paul Cresswell, Padbury, United Kingdom

I am not religious. I treat all this as political and an attack on Free Speech. Free speech is being curtailed by politics and government legislation every day in this country. Islam seems to support this and the over-the-top protests show that the Muslim community is increasingly using intolerance to try tho impose their religion upon the rest of the world.

Ray Evans, Sheringham

The Pope has made comments which demand an apology.

But it is okay for us Muslims to slate every other religion in the World though? Hypocrisy?

Perhaps if us good Muslims slated the evil comments made by other bad Muslims then non-Muslims may empathise with us and not see this as double standards.

I do not however hold my breath as it appears we are always playing the victim culture whilst doing awful things ourselves. This reflects badly on our peaceful religion.

Abbas, Cumbria

How is it OK for Muslims to burn effigies of the Pope but not for the Danish media to print cartoons of Mohammed?

Am I missing something?

Oliver Aberdeenshire

The anger and violance shown over the Popes remarks just reinforces what he said.

Mrs Radcliffe, Stourbridge

So why do we have to tip toe all of the time and be afraid of every comment about the Muslim faith? We are a free thinking , free speech democracy and should not allow ourselves to be censored every time when it may upset the muslim world.

Absolute double standards in my opinion, they (the Muslim world) find it acceptable to burn images of the Pope but any tiny little comment on their faith leads to fanatical violence.

If you have faith in your belief you do not care what people think.

Rich, BFPO

Does anyone who has an once(gram)of sense, really think that the pope would insult another religion?
As usual this has gone to far and been taken out of context.(read the text of his speach)
While I respect other peoples beliefs and laws etc, I am beginning to wonder why so much hate and violence is easily aroused by our muslim brothers, especially when they are wrong.

Peter Berry, United Kingdom

Thankfully there is one man who is not afraid to tell the truth. Look at the reaction from the Muslims and you see he is right. Burning effigies of the Holy Father ranting and raving. Do they ever react calmly to anything !!
Well done Benedict !!

John, Orpington

Oh dear, someone has insulted Islam and Muslims are up in arms. Surprise surprise! I know it's been said before but how can Muslims expect non-Muslims to have any respect for them and their religion if they can't take an ounce of criticism. Anyway it didn't sound like criticism to me. I'm sure if he wanted to the Pope could take a real swipe at Islam. The Pope has every right to free speech. How much free speech is there in certain Islamic countries?

geoff, epping

What I have shown here is that the people of the FREE West are unwilling to accept the principles that have been displayed to them by Islamic extremism. We live in a world of Democracy and Freedom. These extremists advocate a society based on suppresive theocratic law and a complete restriction of the rights of the individual. I hope these comments prove to the liberal, leftist men and women of this country who love to gently ponder this question in academic and ‘enlightenned’ circles that however much YOU may be willing to collaborate with al-Qaeda and its allies and TALK to them about their problems, we will NOT ACCEPT their ultimatum – i.e. that you submit to yourself to Sharia law or you die. We will not be intimidated by them, we will not be terrorised by them; we will see them for what they really are – a group of misguided bullies who, thanks to the shaky-kneed, desperately cowardly reaction from Western liberals, are reinforced in their notion that the West can be brought to its knees with force and fear.
When will you realise, you liberals; when will you see, you leftists, that these are not people with whom you can discuss your issues rationally. They hate YOU as much as they hate those who would stand up to them – liberals, conservates, right and left – we all belong to the same decadent society and we all deserve to die, as we are all infidels. No matter how much you may sympathise with their anti-american, anti-israeli cause you must, at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, choose between the free democracy we now live in or the system of Sharia law which the enemy advocates. I see you recoiling and wincing at the use of the word ‘enemy’ – for you liberals this word is far too direct, far too absolutist. But you must understand that at some point you will be pushed off your comfy seat in the middle of the fence and be forced to choose: between the society in which you now exist and in which you are allowed to state whichever political views you want, and a society in which you hold the political views of the authorities or you have your tongue removed.
We all know that the moderate Muslim population is KEY in this whole problem, and again we must be clear that they too have a choice – either they choose freedom and democracy or they choose theocratic authoritarianism. If they choose the former, then we have a chance to make the world a better place. But if they choose the latter, what are we to do? Will you, my liberal friends, for the sake of personal freedom allow them their opinions, even if they are contrary to everything on which your deepest beliefs are based? The truth, painful though it may be, is that you are either with us or against us. If you oppose the opponents of terrorism then you are, in all practicality, a proponent of terrorism. If you refuse to tell them they are wrong, you are in fact telling them they are right. This is not a situation where a middle line can be taken – we must stand united or we will fall. You must ask yourself what you value most – what you are saying or the fact that you are allowed to say it in the first place.