Saturday, September 16, 2006

A course of action

Let us be clear:
Large segments of the Muslim world are not capable of thinking rationally. The Pope can go on and on with rational arguments that are brilliant pieces of logic and forethought, but one whiff of criticism of Islam and the mob is back in the streets firebombing churches and burning the Pope in effigy.

Even moderate Muslims on TV in the last few days have criticized the Pope for making such comments when he ought to know better rather than condemning their brethren for proving the West right with their stupid barbaric behavior. The biggest problem with moderate Islam is that they have no cohesive PR strategy. If moderate Islam is in fact serious about reining in the extremists and preventing Muslim youth from being recruited, its visibility is non-existent. Then so-called 'moderates' get on CNN and complain that the West ought to know better. Moderate Islam's credibility with the West crumbles every single time it fails to face reality.

The question is then what ought to be Benedict's strategy? Being upset at the idea that his remarks have caused offense is not the answer. He may really be upset, but Benedict is a brilliant man. He ought to know better that his remarks will be misinterpreted and cause the firestorm that they have. However, this does not mean that he should not make them. On the contrary, sugar coating his remarks would only make him appear weak and wishy-washy. Being firm is no crime, no matter how many people burn him in effigy.

Benedict XVI is the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church and his ultimate function on earth is the saving of souls, not being cushy in the arena of 'dialogue' and 'engagement'.

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