Sunday, September 17, 2006

"a great Pope, with a great intelligence.”

The comments of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi brings an interesting perspective to the Pope’s recent words last Tuesday at Regensburg University, in Germany, which have angered many Muslims wordwide.

In this era of terrorism, Benedict’s words--though he has denied he meant to criticize Islam--has brought to the open a question that some people especially in the West have been wondering: whether Islam itself these days is particularly prone to terrorism and violence.

The many Muslims that have come out criticizing the Pope’s quotation of a medieval Byzantine emperor have effectively distanced themselves (and Islam) from its sometimes easy association with terrorism.

And this is a good thing.

According to Berlusconi, the Pope’s words amounted to “an opening, a positive provocation.”

Benedict has inadvertently elicited from these Muslim protestors a response that condemns violence.

Berlusconi adds, “And so for this reason he is a great pope, with a great intelligence.”

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