Saturday, September 23, 2006

Benedict XVI and Islam: the first year... according to 'The American Muslim'

The American MuslimFrom The American Muslim: (comments mine)
... Europe cannot be like America; and a strong religious presence here will not have the militaristic consequences (huh?)which American Muslims have witnessed with such dismay. The Evangelicals in Europe are far weaker (sadly), and think differently on political matters. A Europe defined in Christian terms is more likely to take its guidance from Ratzinger than from any reformed thinker (there are few Southern Baptists here, and as for liberal Christian thinkers, these typically do not differ from the secular consensus on moral issues, and are hence irrelevant). Moreover, there is no reason to suppose that the continent’s current coldness towards the claims of Christianity is a permanent condition. The increasing witness of Muslims may ironically trigger a Christian revival, as the Belgian novelist Jacques Neirynck has forecast. In that situation, the continent’s ethico-political domination by the Vatican would probably enhance the sense of security of the majority population, and this can only be in the interests of Muslims, for whom the threat is not the Church, but the far-right movements which may claim Christian principles (Rosie?), but will, we may reasonably hope, always be kept at a firm distance by Curial institutions that can never decisively reject the rulings of Vatican II.

The increasing witness of Muslims
may ironically trigger a Christian revival

Many Muslims have been uncomfortable with Ratzinger because of his public statements about Islam. Yet we should be wary of emotional responses; and act in our interests, which are also those of a well-integrated, tolerant and successful Europe. Benedict XVI may not quite intend it, but on balance, his policies are likely to be good for Islam.
Interesting take... I'm still stuck on militaristic consequences though.

Europe is in trouble...
'The rational man seeks God, and the Godly man loves reason'... (Updated)
A Peaceful Pope and the Religion of Outrage and Violence: A linked image roundup...(Updated)
Pope and Spinach headlines anger dyslexic Muslims...

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