It’s been blogged to death, and covered so thickly in the press I think the general public is in danger of suffocating. But I have to put my proverbial two cents in (in case you haven’t been able to tell, I love the word proverbial. Yes, I just love the idea of things being proverbial) regarding the poor Pope and the angry Muslims. I can just see him, poor Mr. Pope, offering an apology and having it not be enough. No, the angry protestors won't rest until he's given up a pound of flesh and perhaps a pint of blood. And I can just see the protestors violent at the suggestion that Islam promotes violence.
The cool thing about America is the freedom of speech. At least, the idea of freedom of speech, which in this annoying global society isn’t real at all. And probably, on lots of levels, it’s not a one hundred percent guaranteed freedom in America, either. Were it real, groups like the ACLU wouldn’t actually exist. As an aside, I typically hate the ACLU because invariably they take a side and it’s usually the side of the minority (which is good, if you’re the minority they’re representing). But anyway, I don’t want to open that can of worms. My point is that freedom of speech is golden. I think people should be able to say what they think without fear of being sued and be able to print the truth, whether it’s what I agree with or not, without fear of enraged protestors rioting in the streets.
Ultimately the beauty of living in this cold, cruel world is the diversity of opinion, culture and beliefs. Somewhere in it there is room for the warmth of understanding that occasionally happens between different cultures and various peoples. Even within the Muslim world there are different factions and groups with varying degrees of orthodoxy. What I don’t see is how the Muslim agenda of converting the entire world or killing them is any different than say, Hilter. Or the KKK. Or any group of people that wishes to eradicate another group of people because of race or ideology. So if the Muslims succeed in killing all non-believers, there would still be the different factions within Islam. They don’t have one great Islamic leader.
And what would happen without diversity of religion and ideas? Boring.
So about the Pope. I respect his intentions (see the full transcript of his speech). I doubt he knew the ramifications. And I don’t think it’s fair to try to blame him for violence or deaths that may occur as a result of rioting, angry protestors. If that logic works, then you have to say that smokers are responsible for global warming and all manner of smog, and that when a commuter kills someone in a fit of road rage, it’s the fault of everyone else on the road because they are there and so on. Everyone has the chance to choose. People are culpable for their own actions.
About the rioting Muslims. They are quick to anger and they are quick to find any excuse to riot, protest angrily, bomb, and kill others. The Pope’s apology was not enough for them, and I kind of think it will never be enough because the point isn’t to make him submit, but to have a visible reason to be angry at Westerners and infidels. So they have a scapegoat about why they’re angry. I understand being angry and annoyed about something someone else said, things public figures say, or the things that are sometimes printed about my religion (which is misrepresented in the press quite often). But I don’t riot. I get pissed and then I let it go.