Marked for death: Pope slams Islam for preaching violence

Just a matter of time now. Nothing brings out the killer in jihadis like accusing them of being killers.

Pope Benedict has hit out at Islam and its concept of holy war during a visit to his Bavarian homeland.

The thinly veiled attack on extremist Islam’s justification for terrorism came during a theological lecture to staff and students at the University of Regensburg, where the former Joseph Ratzinger taught theology in the 1970s.

Using the words, “jihad” and “holy war”, the Pope quoted criticisms of the prophet Mohammed by a 14th century Byzantine Christian emperor, Manuel II, during a debate with a learned Persian.

“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached,” Benedict quoted the emperor as saying.

I’m thinking truck bomb, St. Peter’s square. Time elaborates:

His discourse Tuesday sought to delineate what he sees as a fundamental difference between Christianity’s view that God is intrinsically linked to reason ( the Greek concept of logos) and Islam’s view that “God is absolutely transcendent.” Benedict said that Islam teaches that God’s “will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.” The risk he sees implicit in this concept of the divine is that the irrationality of violence can potentially be justified if someone believes it is God’s will.

As a famous man once said, “Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest. Allah is the greatest.”

If the Pope keeps talking like this, he might just lure me back into the fold. Not a moment too soon, either, as I’ve been exploring Protestantism of late. But that’s only because of the money, the parties, and the women.

Sort of related: The Pope’s not the only western leader bucking conventional wisdom this week. I guess the five-year anniversary’s brought out a little Todd Beamer in all of us.