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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

When Saying Sorry Isn't Enough

David Adams • 17 September 2006

Muslims are "outraged" because of the Pope's speech earlier this week, which associated their religion with violence.

With an "organised spontaneity" so reminiscent of these parts, crowds took to the streets to express their anger.

Throughout the Arab world, baying mobs burned effigies of the pontiff while carrying placards bearing legends such as "swine and servant of the cross", "worships a monkey on a cross", "hateful evil man" and "blood-sucking vampire".

Thinly veiled threats have been issued, bibles burned and Christian churches attacked in the West Bank.

With breathtaking hypocrisy given their attitude to Jews, some influential Muslims have even likened the Pope to the fascist Adolf Hitler.

Irony, it seems, is not something they do!

They aren't too big on consistency either.

If the linking of Islam to violence actually does cause such deep offence, then one would expect that Muslims might at least raise an occasional voice against the suicide bombers, decapitators and various other mass murderers who regularly claim the endorsement of Islam for their actions.

Surely, you would think, this kind of thing is more insulting to the devotees of a supposedly peaceable religion than anything an aged pontiff may say.

But, apparently not.

In the wake of each new purportedly Allah-endorsed atrocity, either a collective silence reigns or mumbled half-excuses are proffered.

Is it any wonder, then, more and more people are becoming convinced that Islam and violence are indeed synonymous?

Rather than challenge what is being done in their name, the leaders of this "peaceable religion" threaten, bully and attempt to browbeat those who dare point out how they appear to the rest of us.

The problem is, because it is having the desired effect, we can expect more of the same.

The craven and mealy-mouthed reaction of much of the western media and political classes to both the Danish cartoons and, now, the Pope's remarks has indicated clearly to these theocratic Neanderthals that we can be frightened and intimidated.

Progressively, Islam is being treated in the West exactly how it wants to be treated: as being above even the slightest criticism.

Freedom of speech has now become a moveable feast.

So, rest assured, as long as it is working the tactic of terrorising and intimidating into silence will remain.

If we do continue acquiescing, how long after allowing ourselves to be told what we cannot say before we succumb to demands on what we must say?

Muslim leaders did at least get one thing right this week: Pope Benedict's remarks about the incompatibility of violence and God were directed at them.

His quoting of Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus' view that "… everything Mohammad brought was evil … such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached" was to make perfectly clear who he was referring to - and to indicate, as well, how little things have changed during the past seven centuries.

The Pope did us a service this week by pointing out how, because of the actions of some of its adherents and the acquiescence of most of the rest, Islam is viewed beyond its theocratic borders.

By eventually caving into pressure and issuing statements of apology for his considered remarks, he left us in an even worse position than we were before.



















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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

18 September 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Kick the Pope
Anthony McIntyre

When Saying Sorry Isn't Enough
David Adams

"The third camp is about real lives": Interview with Hamid Taqvaee
Maryam Namazie

John Kennedy

Sympathy for the Victims
Mick Hall

For The Victims of Britain's Holocaust in Ireland
Brian Halpin

Dreary Eden
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Legalize the Irish
Frank [Name Supplied]

Careful What You Wish For
Dr John Coulter

The Peace Process — A Children's Fantasy
Tom Luby

John Kennedy

Upcoming Events

10 September 2006

It's Good to Talk
Dr John Coulter

Bye-Bye Daily Lies
Geraldine Adams

Peelers Give You Trouble
Martin Galvin

If You Cannot Organise a Meeting, How Can You Expect to Organise a Revolution?
Liam O Comain

RSF not involved in proposed 'Front'
Republican Sinn Fein Press Release

Renaissance Republicanism
Mick Hall

Goulding, the Provisionals and the Current Political Process
Roy Johnston

Puppet Show
John Kennedy

Fr. Mc Manus on His Visit to Garnerville PSNI Training Center
Fr Sean Mc Manus

Irlande du Nord: Interview With Anthony McIntyre
André Poulin

Sectarian Interfaces: Glenn Patterson's That Which Was
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 9
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 10
Michael Gillespie

A Curious Snub
Fred A. Wilcox

Con Artist
John Kennedy

Against Civilisation
Seamus Mac An tSaoir

Blanket Coverage for All
Carrie Twomey

5 Years
Brian Mór



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