The grotesque attempt to ambush the Pope on his immediate arrival, to lecture him like a schoolboy on the wonderfulness of Islam, to demand that the “theology” of this or that faith be forever beyond any discussion, was all done by Dr. Ali Bardakoglu, head of the state-run religious affairs department.
One can assume that Dr. Bardakoglu is comfortable with, since he is a participant in, the Kemalist-mandated government control of religious affairs that is supposed to ensure that “moderate” clerics reading “moderate” khutbas will prevail. Bardakoglu used and abused the Pope (so much for famed “Muslim” hospitality) and in doing so was ably assisted by Erdogan, who after a fifteen-minute private discussion with the Pope then claimed to the outside world, without any confirmation by anyone, that a Pope who had for more than a decade expressed doubts about Turkish entry into the E.U. had suddenly — no doubt on the basis of vague and non-committal remarks twisted in timeworn Muslim fashion to say whatever Erdogan wanted them to say — now supported the entry of Turkey into the E.U.
And that is the headline that goes out while the Pope, still a hapless guest, must refrain from setting the record straight at least while he is still in Turkey. Perhaps even when he has returned to Rome he will not find it wise to directly contradict the Turks, lest their ill-concealed fury create other Santoro-like martyrs.
The intolerable behavior of both the leading “political” figure in Turkey, Erdogan, and the leading “religious” figure in Turkey (it’s a distinction that in Islam means very little, but only Kemalism gives it some minor meaning here), and the stories they have put out about the Pope’s sudden conversion to support for Turkey in the E.U., so quickly reported by the world’s press (eager to collaborate in this nonsense, uneager to show any skepticism) simply demonstrates one more time something that we all know is true, especially when it comes to what Muslim apologists and propagandists have been able to do against the Americans, the Israelis, the Indians, the Christians of Lebanon, the Biafrans, and anyone else who stands in their way and athwart their goals:
A lie travels half-way round the world, while the truth is still putting on its shoes.
Akbar Ahmed, to take a recent example, knows this well. He is a plummy-voiced, smooth-talking “snake” (the noun, I believe, comes from Ibn Warraq). He managed somehow — he’s not the first anglophone, pseudo-“moderate” Pakistani apologist to do so, nor the last — to get a position filling an academic seat that might, were he not sitting comfortably in it, be given to someone who might enlighten rather than buffalo his naive students.
About those naive students: that plummy voice, those English tweeds (child of zamindars? What is Akbar Ahmed’s history as a most unrepresentative representative of Muslim Man?), and above all the little business of taking his students to Pakistan (who pays for those airfares?) where they then go to a mosque. There they see their champion, their soft-voiced teacher-hero, confront those “immoderate” Muslims and tell them they should “welcome” these Christian guests. And so they do. And the students, impressionable and very impressed, come away thinking what a swell guy, what a wonderful guy, what a guy to be trusted, is our own Professor Akbar Ahmed.
A crock. A predictable crock.
The Iron Fist in the Velvet Glove reifies the phrase “fortiter in re, suaviter in modo.” As a tactic for Muslims, it had some early success, and Akbar Ahmed and Ali Bardakoglu are doing their best in their own ways to sustain that success, but in fact such success is not capable of being sustained.
Things, you see, are not quite working out. The message of the Akbar-Ahmeds and Ali-Bardakoglus and others desperately trying to disguise or camouflage or explain away or distract Infidel attention onto the trivial isn’t quite up to the worldwide task at hand. Not only Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri and Nasrallah and other terrorists are getting in the way, but so too is Sheik Al-Qaradawi and so many other Muslim clerics, from Tantawi, the former Sheikh al-Azhar, to all kinds of people in Saudi Arabia and Iran and Pakistan, each more blood-curdling than the next.
The problem for Muslim apologists (and their well-paid running dogs, such as Esposito) is that as more of us begin to read and study and observe and make sense, we discover — and so do all kinds of Infidels — just a bit too much fortiter, and not nearly enough convincing suaviter. One is playing fast and loose with the Latin here, but what else is to be expected when someone demonstrates a liking for the adverb of manner “fast and loose”?
Bardakoglu and Erdogan know well what it means to play fast and loose. The Infidel world better learn.