Saturday, September 16, 2006

More Muslim Rage

Third Party and Independents debates the pope and politics.

Dawn posted this, among other things (but read the whole thing):
The man was discussing something that happened in the past.He is trying to understand how Islam works.He is not the only one who wants to know how people who claim Islam is peaceful, can also say that it is their duty to slit someone's throat in the 'name of Islam'.
David Remer answered:

Words have meaning, and those meanings conjure images of past events and experience, and words too, can be swords of their own. At this sensitive time between Muslims and Islam and the Western cultures, any leaders who proclaim to represent large numbers of the world’s population should discharge their words with forethought and acknowledgement of how those words may be perceived.

The Pope speaks to a wide audience. The first rule of public speaking is to identify who your audience is, and speak to their level of understanding to establish a bond, before seeking to change their minds and preconceptions.

The Pope screwed up, in this regard, just as Bush did when calling the war a Crusade. Such words have meaning, and those meanings conjure images of the past and experience. All words point to the past. Anyone who fails to understand this, will not be an effective public speaker capable of guiding public opinion.

Can he really be suggesting that a pope, speaking to German Catholics, should consider how a Muslim in Saudi Arabia would feel? Does he really suggest that the pope has some kind of interest or responsibility to "guide public opinion" in Islam and that they would acknowledge his leadership? Wow!

Paul Siegel wrote this:

I have no idea what the Pope’s intentions were. The first rule for a speaker is to know his audience. Yes, he was speaking directly to Germans. But he knew very well that what he said would be heard all over the world. The entire world was his audience.

If the Pope had thought about this at all, he would have known that Muslims would be offended. But he said Muslims were prone to violence anyway.

The Pope has a failing the vast majority of us have: we are sure we are right and everybody else is wrong. And, do you realize that what he said pushes many Muslims toward terrorism?

It may help a lot if the Pope apologizes to all Muslims for his remarks.

I posted this response:
People who absolve Muslims of responsibility for their violent actions do them no favours nor pay them any compliments. Muslims aren’t machines like guns whose responses can be “triggered” (to use the words Khatami’s spoke at Harvard) by this and that trivial word or image. To suggest so is to imply they are not human but some unstable chemical compound in our clumsy hands; to argue that they are above responsibility is to suggest a Muslim supercessionism that insults the rest of us. Those who excuse the behaviour of others that they would not tolerate in their neighbours and friends are nothing beneath their fine talk and polished principles but cowards.

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