Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Once More With Feeling

Benedict XVI:
"I trust that after the initial reaction, my words at the university of Regensburg can constitute an impulse and encouragement toward positive, even self-critical dialogue both among religions and between modern reason and Christian faith"
Islam, self-critical? In the same sentence? This Friday afternoon, after the imams have a chance to work their goons into a lather, we'll see yet more evidence of Islam's ability to enjoin dialog. Meanwhile, Islam lays it out cold for us to see once again, in case we missed it last time:
The Mujahidin Shura Council, an umbrella group for Sunni Islamists, said in a statement: “We tell the worshipper of the Cross (the Pope) that you and the West will be defeated . . . May God enable us to slit their throats, and make their money and descendants the bounty of the mujahidin.”
Could it be this kind of self-critical dialog to which Benedict refers?
The Muslim Ummah, or the Islamic world, he said was presently living in darkness.

"Today we are the poorest, the most illiterate, the most backward, the most unhealthy, the most un-enlightened, the most deprived, and the weakest of all the human race," he told the delegates.

President Musharraf then made a comparison of the economic growth in Islamic countries with some developed countries.
Rather a bold statement, and a rare voice within Islam. Some significant ground-shifting is taking in place in Pakistan at the moment. I'm still thinking about it. But given so fews voices dare to make such public statements, I wonder what it is about Islam that makes it so reluctant to reform? Could this be a clue?

No wonder the extremists have hijacked Islam. They make it very clear to all those within Islam the price they will pay for being critical. Reform cannot take place without freedom of expression. Islam is trapped. It also explains why Musharraf did this.