Sunday, November 19, 2006

Holy war hotting up?

The pope-Islam hostilities appear to be heating up again, ahead of his visit to Turkey.

The Time article contains the following rather interesting fact:

In late October, Benedict received a different kind of validation in an open "Your Holiness" letter from 38 of the best-known names in Islamic theology. The missive politely eviscerated his Regensburg speech but went on to "applaud" the Pope's "efforts to oppose the dominance of positivism and materialism in human life" and expressed a desire for "frank and sincere dialogue."

The article refers, of course, to the speech the pope gave a few months ago, that got (small) parts of the Muslim world foaming at the mouth, which was praised by many of those who read it.

Now, in case you missed it, the letter from the Muslim heavyweights to the pope can be found here (by the way, Muslims need to improve their PR operations - it was fairly difficult to find this).

Unfortunately for the pope, it appears that his controversial speech contained some glaring errors, and wasn't as well thought-out as many of us first assumed. If he wants to confront Islam and impress Muslims as much as he impresses the chattering classes in the West, the holy father needs to up his game a little.