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Benedict apologizes
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After Pope Benedict's quotation from an obscure medieval Christian document, the Muslim world exploded in outrage. This is old news by now. Today's news was that, after the Vatican's first apology didn't quell the anger, the pope himself issued a public apology (in the pouring rain, no less). At the risk of sounding like a bigot, Benedict should not have felt he had to apologize, although perhaps his doing so will protect Catholics from retaliative attacks. Of course, it would have been better if he had not said such a blatantly disrespectful thing in the first place, but the Muslim world's reaction to his statement proved that to some extent, he wasn't exaggerating.

It is politically incorrect to say that Islam is a violent religion, and perhaps inaccurate as well. As with all religions, there is a broad spectrum of believers, and the majority of Muslims may well be peaceloving and nonviolent. However, a fairly sizable chunk of that spectrum does indeed promote violence, and demonstrate hatred and a laughable sensitivity at others' opinions. We should not have to tiptoe around Islam when it is in the name of that religion that brutalities are being carried out every day. If we had acted like this around the LDS church, every man in Utah would have multiple wives, including child wives. Instead, the country expressed its disgust with polygamy, and the LDS church excommunicated its practitioners. Of course, we didn't have to worry about Mormons carrying out suicide bomb attacks in retaliation.

It is often argued that it is hypocritical of Christians to condemn Islam. After all, what about the crusades, the Spanish inquisition, the extermination of native cultures? I do not mean to defend Christian history. Of course Christians have committed any number of atrocities in the name of God. But Christianity, unlike that violent portion of Islam, has grown up. Christians do bad things, but there is no modern violence that is carried out in the name of Christianity that compares to the scale of that done in the name of Islam. And Islam is an even older religion than Christianity. It has had plenty of time to grow up; it ought to hurry up and do so.


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