Thursday, March 17, 2005

I want an apology from Muhammad 

Sheikh Fawzi Zafzaf, President of the Interfaith Dialogue Committee of Al-Azhar, said during a press conference that his committee has sent a request to the Pope last February, demanding an official apology on Christian crusades against the Muslim world, following the example of the Jews.

Christians owe a debt to Jews that no apology can expunge. Christians owe no such apology to Muslims. The Crusades were a counterattack, and barely a pinprick in a thousand years of Muslim ascendancy against Christiandom. Neither the Crusades nor Christianity's tolerance of science, technology, industry and trade is a reason to apologize to Muslims. The whole idea is offensive.

UPDATE: Welcome LGF readers! If you are not a regular TigerHawk reader, we would be delighted if you took a moment to look around.


By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Thu Mar 17, 04:20:00 PM:

Of course, it is absurd that the Pope was asked for such an apology. I always chuckle, too, when the Islamist types compare the Muslim community to the Jewish community. 1 billion plus Muslims against what, maybe 12mm Jews? I mean it's such a stupid comparison...

The more interesting question, though, Jack, and you should definitely ask it...why hasn't this Pope taken a more active tone against Islamism? My recollection is that the old fellow took a few swipes at our President's actions in Iraq. But he really hasn't done anything on the scholarly front to take on Islamism and Islam generally. You would think that Vatican scholars would present some of the more interesting theoretical challenges to Islamism and a defense of Christian values. Isn't that sort of their job? This Pope did not refrain from exhorting the Croations to resuscitate an independent Catholic nation from within the artificially constructed Yugoslavia, which included the Orthodox Serbs and Bosnian Muslims, of course. So it's not like he doesn't have thoughts on the matter. Where is he on this? I mean it was a Muslim Turk I think who nearly assassinated him all those years ago...  

By Blogger reggie, at Thu Mar 17, 05:54:00 PM:

Cardinalpark --- Didn't you just answer your own question: why hasn't this Pope taken a more active tone against Islamism? "1 billion plus Muslims against what, maybe 12mm Jews?"  

By Blogger Patrick O'Hannigan, at Thu Mar 17, 06:05:00 PM:

See also Thomas F. Madden in National Review Online:

"Now put this down in your notebook, because it will be on the test: The crusades were in every way a defensive war. They were the West's belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world. While the Arabs were busy in the seventh through the tenth centuries winning an opulent and sophisticated empire, Europe was defending itself against outside invaders and then digging out from the mess they left behind. Only in the eleventh century were Europeans able to take much notice of the East. The event that led to the crusades was the Turkish conquest of most of Christian Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The Christian emperor in Constantinople, faced with the loss of half of his empire, appealed for help to the rude but energetic Europeans. He got it. More than he wanted, in fact."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Mar 17, 07:06:00 PM:

"The Christian emperor in Constantinople, faced with the loss of half of his empire, appealed for help to the rude but energetic Europeans. He got it. More than he wanted, in fact."

Yep. Thank Dandolo for that.  

By Anonymous Ning the Merciless, at Thu Mar 17, 07:52:00 PM:

The very Idea is both insulting and absurd. On a theological level Muslims (to a Christian) are the worst sort of Heretics - the kind that try to destroy Christianity. The Pope is being far too quiet about that. They have no trouble condeming the rest of the world as INFIDELS. We shouldn't hesitate to explain that they are going straight to HELL!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Mar 17, 08:26:00 PM:

I tried to register and it said my username wasn't available.
I find it difficult to believe that there is another Moishe3rd out there.
A small correction:
The Crusades were a bloody war of aggression by the Europeans against the East. The Crusaders were a miscreant lot of thugs, murderers and rapists, for the most part.
It was Emperor Alexius of Constantinople who was trying to fight a defensive war against the Moslems. It was he who worked out a deal with Pope Urban (both of whom detested each other and both of whom thought the other was a vile heretic)to use the Crusaders to repel the Muslims and regain the land taken by them from the Roman Byzantine Empire.
Unfortunately, things did not work out so well.
The Crusaders took the land for themselves and not for Alexius. They looted and murdered innumerable Byzantine Christians and Jews (not to mention European Jews) while on their mission to murder Moslems and they finally sacked Constantinople - twice, leaving the Byzantine Empire to finally fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
Alexius' plea for help was a genuine response to Muslim aggression.
The Crusaders were mercenary barbarians who left mainly death and destruction in their wake.
Not a noble cause...
(and, as I cannot be contacted for those who take umbrage - the rest of the above name is: at Yahoo.com)  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Thu Mar 17, 08:53:00 PM:

CardinalPark - There may be any number of reasons why this Pope hasn't taken a more active tone against Islamism, but surely one of those reasons is that his fire is not burning very brightly these days. I think you are right that he did take a shot at the invasion of Iraq, and he has also denounced terrorism, but it's all been pretty weak. Were he a younger guy, we might be hearing more of substance from him.

Anonymous - To be clear, I wasn't defending the Crusaders -- among other things, they needlessly slaughtered all sorts of innocent people, including Jews. And the Pope has apologized to Jews for the various crimes of Christianity against them over the years. But the Muslims were waging a brutal war of a millenium's duration against Christiandom, a war they started as a matter of religious conviction. Whatever the offenses of Crusader "proxy" knights against Muslims, no apology is necessary in light of the longer and more brutal war waged against the West, of which the Crusades were but a minor episode.  

By Anonymous Tradewind111, at Fri Mar 18, 01:36:00 AM:

Came here via LGF,(re the Great Papal Apology link)..... will be back... great blog.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 18, 02:05:00 AM:

To the guy that pointed out the evils of the Crusades, right on. Though if one were to look for a positive side to the Crusades it would definitely be the stifling of Islam's violent expansion, one shouldn't engage in selective criticism of religious lunacy. The real irony of a Muslim asking for an apology is that the current Jihad is every bit as evil as the Crusades and yet to suggest the word 'Jihad' should evoke equal shame would send the Musselmen reeling.  

By Anonymous Dan Kauffman, at Fri Mar 18, 08:10:00 AM:

From Moishe3rd aka anonymous

"A small correction:
The Crusades were a bloody war of aggression by the Europeans against the East."

What a crock. Islam conquered all of the Christian lands in the MidEast, North Africa and most of Spain. They raided and plundered the Mediterranean of France for centuries, pillaged Italy, At times during the 10th and 11th Century there were Muslim military fortificationss within 50 miles of Rome.

At the start of the 12th Century the Caliph of Egypt ordered the destruction of ALL Christain churches in the Empire including the Church of the Holy Seplechure, which has to be the Hoiiest Site of the Christain Faith.

Muslim historians date the beginning with of the Crusades with th Fall of Toledo (Spain?)

And the CRUSADES were only a War of Aggression?

Excuse me but when attacked, attacking back is not aggression.

PS ALL Armies of that Time could be described in much the same manner as anonymous did the Crusaders.

Or does he think Tamerlane the Terribles habit of erecting pyramids composed of tens of thousands of heads taken during the subjagtion of the Indian Subcontinent was an example of how Civiized the Muslim Empire was?  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Fri Mar 18, 08:59:00 AM:

Nice comment string: 2 responses..

Reggie - I don't expect the Pope to speak up for 12mm Jews, so I think your comment was a non sequiter. That's not his job. I do, however, expect that he should have a theological opinion on behalf of 1bn Catholics around the world. That's his job.

Tigerhawk - your observation that the Pope is old and frail is correct, but the church has a massive bureaucracy with tons of other important guys, Cardinals, Bishops, etc. We tend to forget that even today the Catholic church is an enormous store of wealth and intellectual property. This is diminished by the MSM's distaste for organized religion and the Church's own behavior and backwardness.

But when a "vanguard" of Islamist loonies proclaims a war against you -- and these guys have -- you simply have to organize a response. And the Church should be helping to lay the intellectual foundation for the West's approach to the conflict.

Those of us in big cities like New York may find that a little passe. But France, for instance, remains a Catholic country - proclaimed secularism notwithstanding. The Pope owes his flock an explanation. There has been an argument made that the US is not good at the PR required to win the "war of the minds." Well that's a crock - it's not possible. The US press will never allow the US government to launch any PR campaign without dissecting and destroying it. You can't appoint a guy to a position like Judge or World Bank CEO without the press scoffing.

However, the US is a religious, Christian nation. Latin america is generally a Catholic continent. Europe is largely Christian. That is where the PR war can be waged and won. The PR war in the Middle East is not terribly relevant. But your own flock has to get behind the effort.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 18, 11:23:00 AM:

I guess a good question might be: How far back in history does a country/religion get to legitimately claim as still valid and relevant today? I think a lot of statements out of Islam sound like they're conveniently using events unfavorable to them to justify their agendas now. I mean, doesn't history become irrelevant when you're using it to justify things like killing Americans, Israelis, and non-believers?  

By Anonymous JIMBO, at Fri Mar 18, 03:58:00 PM:

What unmitigated gall, especially coming from an evil hate-filled "cleric" who's publicly on record as supporting the murder of Israeli children. It's not aggression to respond to aggression, though in the sick diseased mind of Sunni clerics it's an atrocity if Jews or Christians have the nerve to defend themselves against Muslim aggression. The First Crusade began around 1100. By about 725, the Moors had reached the Pyrenees, having already conquered all of Spain. If they had not been defeated by Charles Martel at Tours in 732, they would have conquered France. You owe us an apology slimy evil Sheik.  

By Blogger William the Lionheart, at Fri Mar 18, 04:20:00 PM:

I agree that there should be no apology for the Crusades! The Muslims brought it upon themselves with their years of brutal aggression against Christians and Jews.
However, the Pope might apologize because that is the popular opinion of the revisionists and frankly, the Pope may not know any better. No disrespect intended.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 18, 05:01:00 PM:

Moishe3rd here again.
The Islamic fascist death cultists who want the Pope to apologize for the Crusades are a pathetic joke.
The Crusaders were sick, bloodthirsty, mercenary barbarians.
The Byzantine Empire fought territorial battles agains the Muslim Empire for many years. They fought by relatively civilized rules of war as did the Muslims.
The European Crusaders ended all that and by viciously and treacherously attacking their Byzantine Christian "brothers," they ultimately ensured that the Muslims won.
That's the fac Jac.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 18, 08:08:00 PM:

The Moslem invasion of North India
may have been one of the great killing sprees in history destroying one of the most advanced civilizations of the time. Hindu Kush means slaughter of Hindus. Where is the apology? Where is the restitution? Where is the recognition Moslems committed a great crime?  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Mar 18, 09:06:00 PM:

Moishe3rd: There is no defense of the Crusaders, especially with regard to the crime they committed against the Jews. Indeed, I agree that the Crusaders were often brigands, recruited to war on the Holy Land so that they wouldn't terrorize the peasants and townsmen of Europe. But since, as you say, they were substantially outside the control of the Church, does that not destroy any argument that the Church owes Islam an apology?

In any case, the immorality of the Crusaders was immaterial. There would have been no Holy Land to recover had Islam not launched an offensive war of conquest from its earliest days. It is one thing to convert by prosletizing, and another to convert by war. Christians have done their fair share of both, but Islam's war with Jews and Christians began with Mohammed.  

By Blogger Big Dog, at Fri Mar 18, 09:52:00 PM:

The Myth of a "restrained" Muslim warfare during the Middle Ages needs to be laid to rest. Saladin, the most famous Muslim general was indeed courteous...most of the time. Those before and after him were not. There is a reason every major Muslim shrine has a Christian church underneath it. In addition to trying to stamp out all Christian churches the Muslims summarily executed most clergy. The regular Christian citizens were allowed to live IF they accepted second-class status and paid a yearly tribute tax for their life.

As everyone else has noted, the Crusades were a counterattack, not a provocation. As far as how the Crusaders acted, ALL armies of this age lived off the land, which resulted in rough treatment of the indigenous people and violence. Additionally, some of the Crusades were far worse than others and they shouldn't all be lumped in together.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 19, 03:14:00 AM:

The Pope should respond to this by offering to celebrate a Mass of Reconciliation in Medina or Mecca.  

By Anonymous Cato, at Sat Mar 19, 06:34:00 PM:

Good idea. How about this: the Vatican ought to issue an apology on the day that construction is completed on a Catholic church in Mecca or Medina. It ought to be roughly the same size as the massive mosque that exists now in Rome, approved by the Vatican.

It never ceases to amaze me at the hypocrisy of Islamists -- taking advantage of Western freedoms to gain as much as possible for themselves, while denying the same to others in their own lands. Well, it isn't hypocrisy, really -- it's stupidity on the part of self-hating Westerners, who allow Islamists to exploit their naive good will.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Mar 29, 09:07:00 PM:

In NO EVENT WHATSOEVER should either the Pope or any other Christians whatsoever apologise to Muslims for the Crusades or anything else they did - let's remember what the Muslims have always been doing - and still are doing! - to everybody else! Before such a request can even be considered, all of the following should happen:

Muslims must STOP ALL attempts whatsoever to attack any other religions, period! They must also abjectly apologise for all of the following (and more no doubt):

Massacring of 1.5 - 3 Million Armenians in 1915-18;
Plundering, pillaging, occupying, etc. (and ALL other crimes during that time including taking boys by force from non-Muslim families and training them to turn against their own peoples!), of ALL of South-Eastern Europe between 1372 and 1914;
ALL deeds their terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda have done (including 2001/09/11);
ALL their efforts to extirpate non-Muslims (especially Serbs) from Kosovo, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Albania, etc. still going on!!!!

Until they apologise and desist from EVERY LAST ONE of these things, they should be just kicked out with maximum force and pain! Also, it's time we ban ALL Muslim immigration into the 1st-World and deport all who've already come here back to where they came from!  

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