Islam is unreasonable, saith the Holy Father

September 15, 2006

I am writing this with the utmost caution because I have not read the actual transcript of the Pope’s controversial speech. I am forced to rely on media sources, which we know are often unreliable when quoting Islamic personalities. I can only hope that they more honestly quote their own religious figures. If he did not really say what I am critiquing below, I ask for his and God’s forgiveness.

The concept of Jihad, according to what the Pope reportedly said, is contrary to reason, while the West, on the other hand, is so entrenched in reason, that Muslims cannot understand it. This statement is laughable at best, and dangerous at worst. He then reportedly goes on to say what many ignorant popes before him have claimed: that Islam was “spread” by the sword. What is most shocking is that he seems to be saying that the Qur’an instructs Muslims to “spread” it by the sword. (As one comedian said, it makes it appear as though the world is a bagel and Islam is the cream cheese. I guess Christianity was spread by the knife).

Let’s see what the Qur’an says about spreading religion with the sword:

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things. (2:256)

Now, correct me if I am wrong, Mr. Pope (because I am no expert on Qur’anic exegesis, but then again, neither are you), but doesn’t that mean that you cannot force anyone to become Muslim?

Furthermore, one could argue that Islam is closer to reason than the Catholic sect of Christianity. The very notion of the Trinity itself defies reason, even from a metaphysical standpoint.

Al-Islam, however, promotes reason, as it is the only way to know God. Miracles, emotional “revivals”, and even mysticism are insufficient. One must believe in God through the faculties of his own reason, otherwise he does not truly believe.

One must then wonder why he thinks Muslims do not understand the West. Our problem has never been understanding it. Our problem is that the “West” spreads secularism by the sword. Had the West not colonized our lands, exploited our resources, stolen our treasures, enslaved our people, occupied our territories and killed millions of innocent women and children, why would we care about the West enough to even want to understand it?

The Pope is only feeding into the secular myth that they are completely innocent and have done nothing to incite Muslims’ antagonism towards them; just as they did nothing to the Indians of North America, the enslaved Africans, or Jews of Germany. Palestine was just a “barren desert” when they arrived and occupied it, so why are Muslims upset? Saddam Hussein “butchered his own people” so why are you mad that we’re bombing them instead? This is what you are encouraging with your words, Mr. Pope: mythology.

Muslims are not “out to get” the West. As I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again: if we seriously wanted to do harm to the West, there would be no place safe for any westerner in any country. There are 1.2 Billion Muslims in the world. Out of that 1.2 Billion, perhaps 0.0003 percent (and I’m being generous here) wish to become terrorists. Out of that 0.0003 percent, only 1% actually carry out terrorist attacks. Somehow, however, this “fundamentalist ideology” or “islamofascism” as Mr. Bush prefers to call it, is spreading like wildfire. Jihad is apparently synonymous with terrorism, and every people have the right to defend themselves except Muslims.

We are to humbly and willfully accept our oppression because we simply “do not understand the West.” That is our tragic flaw: misunderstanding. I suppose I misunderstood you, Mr. Pope. I thought you were a beacon of peace, a champion of tolerance, and a brother in faith.



  1. Assalaam Alaykum,

    I think you have some valid points. Even though he was using the Byzantine emperor’s comment about our beloved Prophet, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wassallam, and he did say it was a quote, most agree that he shouldn’t have used it at all.

    You might be interested in this article by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, about this pope and his views on Islam, Benedict XVI and Islam: the first year

    Also Juan Cole’s, Informed Comment website has an interesting post about the comment, Pope’s Trip to Turkey in Doubt
    Protests Grow

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