It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bin Laden Is Right - The Pope Is On A Crusade

"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."
- Emperor Manuel Paleologos II, 14th century
THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Yes, it's true. Bin Laden has let the cat out of the bag. Pope Benedict XVI is on a crusade, in fact, he's leading it. But it's not a crusade in the military sense like the retaliations to Islamic jihad nearly a thousand years ago. No, this is a crusade in the truly Christian sense, far more powerful than any crude military force, because it incorporates the message of the gospel. It is a crusade of reason. The pope is calling out to the Muslim world; "Come, let us reason together," and in doing so he is demanding reciprocity. In reciprocity, the pope demands that if the Muslim world wants to be taken seriously, then the Muslim world must offer the same freedoms to Christians in Islamic countries, as the West offers to Muslims in Western countries. Without this reciprocity, there can be no dialog, and Islam will never be taken seriously by the Western world. It will forever be regarded as Emperor Paleologos once described: a religion that has offered nothing to the world except excessive violence in the name of religion. It's a bad reputation that the majority of the Islamic world desperately wants to change, and that gives Bin Laden good reason to be afraid.

The fate of Islam now lies squarely in the hands of Muslims. If the pope's demands for reciprocity are not met, and instead Muslims commit more violence in response, then Islam will go down in history as a savage religion, made for savages, who revel in nothing but hatred and violence. The Western world will never take Islam seriously, and Muslims will ALWAYS be suspect of terrorism in the collective Western mind. The damage to Islam will be irreparable.

If on the other hand, the so-called "moderate" Muslims use this opportunity the pope has given them to take back their religion from extremism, and Islamic nations respond with reciprocity for Christians living within their borders, then a new day can dawn for the Muslim world. If moderate Muslims will hunt down the extremists, close extremist schools and stomp out extreme teaching, then the words of Emperor Peleologos II will be proved wrong. Figures like Peleologos will go down in history as the true "bigots" and Islam can be taken as a "religion of peace" in the collective Western mind.

So what will the Muslim answer be to Pope Benedict's crusading ultimatum of reciprocity? Only God knows, and only Muslims can answer. Now we shall wait and see...
(FoxNews) - ...Today you likely will hear most reporters and pundits suggest the reference to Benedict is mere mindless babble from a paranoid cave dweller. After all, Pope Benedict XVI himself criticized the publication of the cartoons as an irresponsible provocation of Muslim sensibilities. The Pope explained at the time that the universal right of freedom of expression does not free us from personal responsibility to express ourselves in a respectful way.

But contrary to the mindless babble theory, I think bin Laden’s cave has a very good antenna and he has become a shrewd decipherer of its signals. In his last two public messages, bin Laden has gone out of his way — way out of his way — to say this pope in particular is an enemy of Islam. Why? Note that in yesterday’s message, bin Laden does not accuse Pope Benedict of involvement in the cartoons. No. He is placing the cartoon flap within the broad context of a “new Crusade” against Islam, in which, according to bin Laden, the pope has played a “large and lengthy role.”

Bin Laden’s papal fixation has something to do with Benedict’s now infamous Regensburg address that caused so much stir among some Muslim youth. But that’s not the whole story. Bin Laden knows Benedict’s crusade neither started nor ended in Regensburg. He also knows and fears this crusade is of a certain type which he and his pales don’t know how to fight, and thus considers it the ultimate threat to his power base, thousands of times more powerful than the backhanded slaps against Mohammed, as were the cartoons.

Bin Laden even knows the crusade is not against Islam.

Benedict’s crusade can be likened to a quiet pilgrimage in the pursuit of rescuing human reason from the clutches of fundamentalism. It aims to restore reason as the great cultural meeting point for people of every race and creed.

While Benedict sees rationality as the only suitable launching pad of all true faith, bin Laden sees it as the great obstacle to his manipulation of the masses. While Benedict sees faith and reason as mutually enriching sources of truth, bin Laden sees the former as incompatible with the later. And while Benedict claims God can never command us to do evil because the first universal moral dictate of reason —“do good and avoid evil”— reflects his loving voice, bin Laden on the other hand claims Allah can do whatever he pleases, evil included.

The good news Benedict is preaching is that truth and goodness are of universal attraction. The more Pope Benedict whispers about universals, the more Muslims will listen. And they already are. Earlier this month the Vatican announced 225 Muslim leaders have asked to enter into official dialogue with Christians to proclaim the need for peace and mutual respect. Last week the Muslim country of Qatar inaugurated its first official Christian church. After the historic and first ever visit of a Saudi King to the Vatican last year, the two states are now in negotiations to allow the construction of Christian churches in the Kingdom, the holy ground of Mecca and Medina.

These are small, but incredibly significant signs that Muslims too are signing up to fight the crusade.

In other words, bin Laden has every reason to be afraid.

read full story here