Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's not just me - even the BBC is getting it (a bit)

I'm beginning to feel that there may be a little hope for the UK after all.

These are two adjacent stories from the BBC's website this morning:

"Criticism is continuing to pour in from religious and political leaders in the Muslim world following remarks by Pope Benedict XVI about Islam.

Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, spoke of sinister tendencies to link terror with Islam which gave rise to an ominous alienation with the West."

"Forty-seven bodies have been found across Baghdad, police say, raising the total number of corpses found in recent days in the Iraqi capital to 176.

Many of the victims had been tortured or shot in the head or chest."

Then the most e-mailed story (still on the front page):

And here is the first page of comments (ordered by number of recommendations) from the BBC's Have Your Say page:

first the question:

Were the Pope's remarks 'anti-Islamic'?

Muslim leaders have criticised Pope Benedict over comments he made linking the Muslim faith with unrest.

In a speech, during a visit to Germany, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things.

Pope Benedict stressed that the words were not his, but the head of the Muslim Brotherhood said the remarks had "aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world".

Was Pope Benedict wrong to make the statement? Should the Pope apologise? Send us your comment
and now the comments:

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK

oh look, muslims are up in arms. again.

Steve, Leeds

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK

I am sick and tired of the hypocrisy of the Muslim world. While the West gets a constant barrage about being evil, decadent etc etc., the Muslim world gets all worked up about anything and everything they perceive as an insult.
Why should the West and the rest of the world have to tip-toe around Muslims whilst the Muslim world can issue countless diatribes full of garbage aimed at the West?
Since when did the Muslim world have the monopoly on sensitivity?

Terry Humphries, Yokohama, Japan

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK

His comments weren't anti-Islamic, they were used to prove a point about the relationship between religion and violence, two things which should never be associated.

Yet again we see the Islamic community taking slight at the words before actually considering the point and context of them.

How many times have we seen Islamic leaders talk about the "evil west" and how we have "no morals" - the rules need to be applied both ways if a respectful balance is to be achieved.

Chris P, Liverpool

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK

Sorry but when did constructive criticism of Islam become illegal. The Pope, or indeed anyone else has the right to make remarks (in this case not even his own) about any religion, it's called freedom of speech. We must stop Islamists from holding our rights to ransom under the guise of racism.

qwerty, UK

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK

His comments were very timely and appropriate. It's time someone called a spade a spade and stop this drama of political correctness

Dr Alok Sharma, Rhuddlan

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK

For goodness sake! Isn't this just another case of the muslim world taking the opportunity to view, and present, itself as the 'victim' community being attacked from all sides?
This is just another opportunity for muslim leaders to stir up their own communities against the west, whilst putting us on the back foot and having to, once again, apologise to the muslim world.
What with all the rhetoric against the west, I would suggest muslims get their own house in order, before judging the rest.

Patrick, St Ives

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK

So it's OK for the president of Iran to constantly spout anti-semitic and anti-Christian rhetoric, but as soon as the Pope quotes someone else's rather dodgy views on Islam, Muslims of the world are outraged.

I agree that all is not well between Islam and the West, but this kind of behaviour helps no-one.

Oliver, York

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK

With all the ongoing crisis in the middle east, as far as I can see, the quote makes a valid point.

If Muslim world's anger can simply be aroused by a quote, it's probably time to get some anger management.


Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK

Although I don't believe the Pope's comments were helpful - I also believe that it is not just the Muslim faith who should be entitled to freedom of speach - how often have Muslim fanatics insulted, condemned and incited relgious hatred in the name of thier religion?

Lynn, UK

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK

No, the Pope should not apologise until terrorist actions carried out in the name of Islam cease.

Gareth, Tokyo, Japan

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 12:58 GMT 13:58 UK

If Muslims were as quick to publicly condemn the suicide bombers who cowardly kill and maim in the name of Islam, then maybe we'd start taking other things they whinge about more seriously.

seamus, London

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK

Here we go again! Dare to say anything which could be construed as criticism of Islam, and the usual bandwagon of vilification and hatred gets underway.

Why not wonder "why do people see us in this light; why do people say such things about us?" and seek to change perceptions?!

By giving the usual reaction, Muslims merely reinforce the stereotypical view - it perpetuates the vicious circle.

Chris, Milton Keynes

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK

The Pope was clearly quoting someone else, so this whole idea of him attacking the Islamic ideology is idiotic.

Being a muslim myself, I would advise others around the world to realise that no mater how close to our heart, our faith may be, those who dont' follow it are under no obligation whatsoever to respect, dignify or even accept such beliefs.

I request them to follow the example of none other than Mohammad (SAW) himself, to face harsh criticism and insults with dignity and forgiveness.

Ali Akbar, Stuttgart

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK

Why should the Pope apologise for quoting literature? A representative of another religion only has to look at a Muslim to anger the whole Muslim community. We live in a democracy that values the right to freedom of speech. Why is it OK for muslims to demonstrate wearing suicide bomber outfits but the pope cannot even speak. Any excuse for Muslims to preach hate about the West!

Jim, Chesterfield

Added: Friday, 15 September, 2006, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK

Seriously, muslims should stop being so insecure about their relegion.

Sunny, LA

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