Monday, October 09, 2006

The Pope:

Pope Makes Additions to Text on Islam

Pope Benedict XVI has taken another step to placate anger in the Islamic world over his remarks on holy war, making additions to his original text affirming that a quotation from a 14th century Byzantine emperor was not his personal opinion.

...The original speech, given at Germany's Regensburg University where he once taught, quoted the emperor as saying: "Show me just what Muhammad 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."

The original said the emperor's remark was made "somewhat brusquely." In the new version, it says it was made with "a brusqueness that we find unacceptable."

Benedict added in a footnote: "In the Muslim world, this quotation has unfortunately been taken as an expression of my personal position, thus arousing understandable indignation. I hope that the reader of my text can see immediately that this sentence does not express my personal view of the Quran, for which I have the respect due to the holy book of a great religion." ...

The Pope's intellectual predecessor --the shopkeeper from Bolton:

PRALINE: I understand that this is Bolton.


PRALINE: Well, you told me it was Ipswich.

SHOPKEEPER: It was a pun.


SHOPKEEPER: No, no, not a pun, no. What's the other thing which reads the same backwards as forwards?

PRALINE: A palindrome?


PRALINE: It's not a palindrome. The palindrome of Bolton would be Notlob. It don't work.


(I'm not defending anyone who would respond to the Pope's speech with violence, but, as regular readers know, I don't buy his insistence that he meant no insult -- see this post and this one. Also see Kevin Drum's take on the speech.)

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