It’s incredible how indefatigably the U.S. has pursued accommodation with Islam and encouraged others to do so. Just imagine the U.S. Government in 1943 encouraging anyone on the world stage to open up towards Germany. But of course the analogy founders on the fact that we don’t consider ourselves to be at war with Islam; if only we could convince the Islamic jihadists that they are not at war with us. I don’t think the Pope saying nice things about Islam under U.S. pressure would accomplish that.
“WikiLeaks: US encouraged pope to open up towards Islam and Turkey,” from DPA, December 23:
Madrid – The United States initially saw Pope Benedict XVI as a ‘eurocentric’ pontiff who was ‘unlikely to cut a prominent figure on the world stage,’ according to WikiLeaks documents published Thursday.
The confidential US diplomatic cables obtained by the whistleblower website were quoted by the Spanish daily El Pais.
German-born Benedict XVI would face a ‘steep learning curve’ on international issues, US diplomats wrote after the then cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected pope in 2005.
Some of the cables focus on a 2006 academic lecture given by the pope, who quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor saying that the Muslim prophet Mohammed had brought ‘only evil and inhuman things.’ The quote sparked furious criticism in the Muslim world.
‘It taxes the imagination’ to suppose that such a reference by the pope ‘would pass unnoticed,’ a US diplomat wrote.
According to his assessment, the pope made the reference on purpose, but without foreseeing the consequences, which were followed by apologies by the Vatican.
The pope’s ‘approach toward Islam and toward inter-religious dialogue is cooler than that of his predecessor’ John Paul II, the diplomat observed….
‘The Holy See does not believe theological agreements with Islam are possible, but is convinced that better mutual knowledge will allay suspicions and facilitate peaceful co-existence,’ US diplomats wrote in 2009.