First of all, we have Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah's Toronto Star editorial, Outrage and Understanding. They suggest that the 'greater jihad' would be to turn the other cheek - a sentiment with which I totally agree. (It almost sounds like something Jesus would have said.)
Now I could take something out of context here and take issue with the fact that they quoted a philosophy lecturer at Wadham College as saying that "... it's born-again Christians who have been at the forefront of support for the invasion of Iraq, the occupation of Palestinian lands by Israel, and the whole `reorganization' of the Middle East — a catastrophe in which many thousands of Muslims have lost their lives."
But I won't. I shall turn the other cheek.
We also have two totally opposite points of view presented in today's Record. The first is an opinion piece by journalist Gwynne Dyer, "The Pope and Islam - Comments reflect papal intolerance."
I found this bit quite interesting:
Benedict needs a few lessons in manners, but the real reason for the uproar is that so many Muslims feel under attack by the West. Two Muslim countries have been invaded by the United States and its allies since 9/11, and another, Lebanon, has been bombed by Israel with full support from the United States and Britain.
At least 20 times as many Muslims have died in these brutal wars as the number of Americans who died in the 9/11 attacks, and almost none of them had anything to do with that terrorist atrocity.
Dyer has got to be one of Jack Layton's favourite columnists.
On the other hand, we have James A. Diamond suggesting that we consider the Pope's speech in its entirety - "Benedict's Message was one of Hope and Reason".
If we allow intimidation and threats of violence to determine the outcome of debates rather than cogency and reason then we have surrendered the core values of our liberal democracy.
As I see it, one of the problems with the Muslim faith is the blur between religion and politics. I really don't see a separation. I know the Pope has been accused of poking his nose in our affairs too, but I haven't seen him threaten to blow up Parliament yet. So we are free to ignore him if we wish, with little fear for our safety and democracy.
Although many Muslim clerics are asking that protests be peaceful, according to CTV Iraqi extremists are saying, "We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the 'jizya' tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion (to Islam) or (being killed by) the sword."
One of my blog readers asked a short time ago who was in charge in the Muslim-Islam world, the way the Pope is regarding Roman Catholicism. I said I have no idea. Does anyone?
Technical note: Having some issues with links here.
For the Dyer and Diamond op-eds, just go to the Record, click on Opinions, and then Insight, while I try to figure this out. Thanks!
Lots of links at Lifesite. Full text of the Pope's speech and lots of other info here.
More from Jonathan Kay at the National Post (Why we're losing). H/T to Gay and Right.