Pope must convert to Islam!!!

…to show that he regrets his gaffe.
[From the Muslim Onion]
This whole fiasco is making Sam Harris’ point for sure. Too bad I have no expectation that this sort of irrationality can be banished as opposed to managed in the future….
Though seriously.
1) The Pope quoted Manuel II Palaiologos who basically implied that Islam was a derivative and uncouth religion. I think that context matters here, Manuel was a erudite man, and he surely drew upon the tradition started by John of Damascus, in Heresy of the Ishmaelites, to view Islam as simply the most prominent in a long line of un-Orthodox heresies.
2) Of course, the Pope should have known that Muslims would not react very well. It isn’t like they’ve gone through an Enlightenment, and unfortunately their religion hasn’t been gelded. Bad Pope! Now some Catholics are going to be killed by Muslims becuse the Pope implied Muslims are violent.
3) But of course, blaming the Pope loses the context of the bigger picture that over 1 billion people feel that any offense against their beliefs is open season to react in a bestial manner.
4) So, I think it is clear that non-Muslims must take up the burden, in the interests of pragmatism, of weaning the Muslim world off the illusion that their beliefs are sacrosanct. And yet, it probably isn’t going to be feasible or realistic for the religious to say that we shit upon your God. So atheists need to step up. Within bounds, since after all we don’t want to be Rushdied.
Addendum: If you haven’t, please read my post about the nature of religion (as I see it), and my speculations on why there is a perception1 that Islam is a violent religion.
1 – For the record I think Islam’s track record does tend to suggest more violence than that of Buddhism or Christianity.

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