October 26, 2006


Now we're talking (David Warren, 10/22/06, Ottawa Citizen)

[T]he significance of what [the thirty-eight Muslim] said went beyond -- far beyond -- being a formal reply to the Pope’s remarks at Regensburg. Truly with reason and restraint, they defend the honour of the Islamic faith as it has come down through 14 centuries of interpretation and experience -- that faith in its breadth, and not in the narrowness of postmodern psychopaths, trying to reconstruct the conditions of 7th-century Arabia.

The signatories renounced and condemned violence against Christians in the name of Islam. They accepted without qualification the Pope's post-Regensburg clarifications, and both accepted and applauded his call for dialogue. They unambiguously denounced and rejected all terrorist interpretations of the word "jihad"; they insisted on the priority of Surah 2:256 of the Koran ("There is no compulsion in religion"), stating explicitly that it is not obviated by later Koranic passages or Hadiths. They went so far as to aver that the declaration of Jesus in Mark 12:29-31 expresses the essence of all Abrahamic religion -- Muslim, Christian, Jewish.

That is Mark’s version of the Gospel message that there are "two great commandments". The first is to love God with all thy heart and soul and mind; and the second, to love thy neighbour as thyself. (And please, secular humanists, note the order in which those commandments are always given: first God, then man.)

The signatories agree with the Pope that the dialogue between Christianity and Islam must be founded in reason. They admit, just as Christians admit, there are limitations to human reason, for what is divine goes beyond what humans can know. But what is divine is not incompatible with reason, and within the sphere of human relations, between peoples who do not confess the same faith, reason is the only sound guide.

This does not mean that violence is forsworn in all circumstances. As the Muslim signatories note, Jesus himself violently turned the moneychangers out of the Temple precincts. But reason itself determines when violence is the only appropriate defence against unreason.

Islam is thus, in the words of 38 of its most qualified living exponents, not merely “a religion of peace”, but more essentially a religion of love -- of love, from and for the one God we all worship; the one true Lord we know by His works, and who is Love in all His actions. For what is done in hatred cannot be done in God’s name, and will always be false religion.

Now take this in. In a moment of increasing worldwide violence and tension, Pope Benedict XVI issued a call, echoing his predecessor John-Paul II, for a real dialogue between religions at the highest level of reason. And authoritative spiritual leaders of the Islamic umma responded favourably to this, and declared, in a fine, noble, and open spirit: “Let the dialogue begin!” This is news of very great significance. It should have been the top headline in every newspaper in the world.

Found a copy of Robert Spencer's Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam for a quarter the other day and thought it worth checking out the hymnal the Islamophobes are singing from. Couldn't get past pages 5-6, where he reacts in high dudgeon to Muhammad instructing his followers that they are allowed to use violence even in the sacred month of Rajab in order to defend the faithful. As Mr. Spencer rages: "The moral absolutes enshrined in the Ten Commandments...were swept aside in favor of an overarching principle of expediency." Presumably he believes that if you attack Jews on Saturday or Christians on Sunday they'll turn the other cheek, since the Sabbath is a moral absolute, eh?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 26, 2006 8:07 AM


Moslem leaders telling us exactly what we want to hear.

(And what about thems that don't?)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 26, 2006 8:26 AM

We don't matter. All that matters is that their rhetoric will become Islam's reality.

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2006 8:39 AM

All that matters to me is that they stop attacking us. Talk is cheap. Even if you are right, oj, it matters little to me if they become peaceful 20-30 years from now if my world comes to an end next year by being blown up in a pizza parlor or a bus.

Posted by: ray at October 26, 2006 10:55 AM

The media barely reported what Benedict said (and obviously didn't read his whole speech). There is no chance they will understand and then report on the response of Muslim scholars.

As for the bombers, they are just gangsters. Nothing more. That they have 'religious' standing is something the Muslim world needs to renounce. And we need to start ignoring it.

When people ask, "why do they hate us?" - we need to rejoind immediately - "who?"

Then we can talk.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 26, 2006 11:05 AM

It's a nice start. Now some evidence that their words will have an effect on actual Muslims, and not just earn them pats on the heads by the Islamophile cheering section, would be nice, too.

It's also amazing the lengths to which the Islamophiles will go in support of their apologetic fantasies of what they think Islam should be (and has never been). It almost makes one wish for the good ol' days when such distant paternalism was limited to college Poli Sci departments' infatuation with Marxism. (People who have no standing at all among the ummah, yet somehow have come to believe they've been designated to speak for "good" Muslims. I guess because they themselves believe that Muslims' own words can't be trusted.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 26, 2006 11:30 AM


That worked too--forcing Marxists to mouth our rhetoric ended the Soviet Empire.

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2006 11:51 AM


Western media.

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2006 11:54 AM


It's not about you. Attacks will continue for awhile, but they'll be just as ineffectual. They can't stop the change that's coming to their world.

Posted by: oj at October 26, 2006 11:59 AM

Anyone who thinks the Koran is an unusually violent holy book hasn't read the Old Testament recently.

Posted by: Brandon at October 26, 2006 12:00 PM


Right on. CNN and the BBC and the rest of them are trying to out-insurge the 'insurgents', aren't they?

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 26, 2006 12:15 PM

That's 38 down and 999,999,962 to go...

Posted by: Rick T at October 26, 2006 1:15 PM

Rick. T.: Bingo. And I'll bet all 38 are now on various Al Qaeda/Muslim Brotherhood/etc. hit lists.

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 26, 2006 6:32 PM


Posted by: Sandy P at October 27, 2006 1:07 AM