“The church and the Western public, because they saw Islam as the enemy, went on crusades.” No mention, of course, of the 450 years of jihad conquest that preceded that. “Turkish cleric attacks pope’s remarks about Islam,” from AP, with thanks to Looney Tunes:
ISTANBUL, Turkey Turkey’s top Islamic cleric asked Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday to take back recent remarks he made about Islam, and unleashed a string of counteraccusations against the Christian church, raising tensions before the pontiff’s November visit – his first to a Muslim country.
Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoglu, a cleric who sets the religious agenda for Turkey, said he was deeply offended by the pope’s remarks Tuesday during his pilgrimage in Germany, about Islamic holy war, calling them “extraordinarily worrying, saddening and unfortunate.”
Bardakoglu said that “if the pope was reflecting the spite, hatred and enmity” of others in the Christian church, then the situation was even worse….
The pope made his remarks on Islam in a speech in which he quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and an educated Persian on the truths of Christianity and Islam.
“The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war,” the pope said.
“He said, I quote, ‘Show me just what Mohammed 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,’” he quoted the emperor as saying.
Clearly aware of the delicacy of the issue, Benedict added, “I quote,” twice before pronouncing the phrases on Islam and described them as “brusque,” while neither explicitly agreeing with nor repudiating them.
In remarks to Turkey’s state-owned Anatolia news agency, Bardakoglu said Thursday that he expected an apology from the pope and said it was the Christian church, not Islam, that popularized conversion by the sword.
“The church and the Western public, because they saw Islam as the enemy, went on crusades. They occupied Istanbul, they killed thousands of people. Orthodox Christians and Jews were killed and tortured,” he said….
“They (the Christians) saw war against those outside the Christian world as a holy duty,” Bardakoglu continued. “That’s why the Western clerics always have in the back of their minds a crusade mentality and the idea of holy war,” he claimed.
Sure, Bardakoglu. That’s why there’s an organized movement of Christians committing violence worldwide in the name of Christianity today, and justifying it by reference to Christian texts.
Bardakoglu said he suspected Benedict had the same mentality and asked the pope to “look in the mirror” before making remarks against Islam.
“If there’s a religious antagonism in the West, it’s the responsibility of the logic-ignoring Christian church,” he said….
Of course. It’s never the responsibility of Islam or Muslims, no matter what.