Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Looming Clash of Civilsation

Last month the Islamic world was drowned in protests over a lecture by Pope Benedict XVI's. The controversy revolves around a lecture by Pope Benedict XVI titled "Faith, Reason and the University — Memories and Reflections" given at the University of Regensburg . During the lecture, Pope used a quote originating from a 1391 “Dialogue Held With A Certain Persian, the Worthy Mouterizes, in Anakara of Galatia”and the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, touching on such issues as forced conversion, holy war, and the relationship between faith and reason. It read :
Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
The intensity of Protest surprised most of the observers coming only months after the Danish Cartoon Episode. It spread like a Wild fire from India to Middle East to Parts of Europe. As usual Al-Qaida second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri also chipped in. Demand for apology poured in from almost every Islamic Nation.

Buckling under intense pressure, Pope apologised atleast 4 times. Three times in Public and One time in person to Muslim ambassadors and representatives.

This is not the first time Pope Benedict has been at the centre of criticism for his views on Islam. During his time as a cardinal, Pope Benedict opposed Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying it belonged to a different cultural sphere, adding that its admission would be a grave error against the tide of history. And in 1996, he wrote that Islam had difficulty in adapting to modern life.