Charles Krauthammer wrote an excellent article in The Washington Post about the Muslim ire over Pope Benedict’s quoting of a 14th century emperor about Islam. It’s a short read, but here’s the beginning to tantalize you.

Religious fanatics, regardless of what name they give their jealous god, invariably have one thing in common: no sense of humor. Particularly about themselves. It’s hard to imagine Torquemada taking a joke well.

Today’s Islamists seem to have not even a sense of irony. They fail to see the richness of the following sequence. The pope makes a reference to a 14th-century Byzantine emperor’s remark about Islam imposing itself by the sword, and to protest this linking of Islam and violence:

* In the West Bank and Gaza, Muslims attack seven churches.

* In London, the ever-dependable radical Anjem Choudary tells demonstrators at Westminster Cathedral that the pope is now condemned to death.

* In Mogadishu, Somali religious leader Abubukar Hassan Malin calls on Muslims to “hunt down” the pope. The pope not being quite at hand, they do the next best thing: shoot dead, execution-style, an Italian nun who worked in a children’s hospital.

“How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I’ll kill you for it” is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation.

First Salman Rushdie. Then the false Newsweek report about Koran-flushing at Guantanamo Bay. Then the Danish cartoons. And now a line from a scholarly disquisition on rationalism and faith given in German at a German university by the pope.

And the intimidation succeeds: politicians bowing and scraping to the mob over the cartoons; Saturday’s craven New York Times editorial telling the pope to apologize; the plague of self-censorship about anything remotely controversial about Islam — this in a culture in which a half-naked pop star blithely stages a mock crucifixion as the highlight of her latest concert tour.

Back in the later 80s a common BBS tagline I used when talking religion was “Believe in a loving god, infidel, or die!” This has left the realm of humor and has become a statement of fact, thanks to the knee-jerk reaction by Muslims.

I believe in the power of forgiveness. It is a blessing for the person who forgives as it is for the person who is forgiven. True forgiveness requires an apology, and admission of guilt and remorse. If you are married, you should apologize to your loved one for every bone-headed thing you do. As Lazarus Long says, “In a family argument, if it turns out that you are right — apologize at once!”

But there are people to whom you should never apologize at all — the ranks of the perpetually pissed-off people. Never apologize to one of these pissed-off people, even if you are in the wrong! That may sound harsh and unlike any advice you have ever heard before, but admitting your guilt to the perpetually pissed-off seems to be the same, to them, as admitting weakness. It grants them license to accuse you of every slight and misdoing from then on. You have caved to them. They won’t accept it as a token of your sincerity and commend you for it. Instead, the perpetually pissed-off people will see your apology as an opening to demand restitution, and they will demand it forever.

The so-called “Reverend” Jesse Jackson is an expert at using his own state of perpetual pissed-offedness to get money from companies for his own group and people. A formal complaint was filed against Jackson, accusing him of extorting money from corporations, including the sale of an Anheuser-Busch distributorship to Jackson’s sons.

Don’t apologize to whiney liberals, cry-baby environmentalists, or aggrieved minority groups. Consider what happened when Congress, back in 1993, issued an Apology Resolution for the actions taken a century before in overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii. The aggrieved group known as the Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom is using the 1993 apology as its basis to challenge U.S. sovereignty on the islands. They are not content to accept the apology in the spirit it was given — they want, and must have, more!

As a group, Muslims around the world are a notable part of the perpetually pissed-off. Someone claims falsely that a Koran was flushed at Gitmo — riots! Cartoonists draw pictures about Islam and Mohammed — riots! Most recently, Pope Benedict XVI quotes someone centuries dead — riots! Get the picture? Since there may be a few people who haven’t heard what has caused Muslims around the world to get their collective panties in a bunch, I’ll print it again. Steel yourselves for the unparalleled horror of what he said:

“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.”

Meh. I’m still waiting to see a Muslim prove the Pope’s quote was wrong. Their actions have so far confirmed exactly what was said. Technically, Pope Benedict was quoting Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologos, but I doubt your average rampaging Muslim on the street knows it — or has even read the entire set of remarks by the Pope.

And what is their response? Riots and death threats. How is this supposed to negate the substance of the quote by the Pontiff?

Don’t apologize to perpetually pissed-off people. Tell them to pull their thumbs out of their mouths, stop crying like babies, and get on with their lives.

Muslims are raging against the Pope’s words. Yeah, like Muslim rage is anything new. Here’s what I wrote about the Muslim rage over the Danish Mohammed cartoons back in February 2006.

It is a mistake to think that Muslims can be placated by apologizing for these cartoons. If they had not set off the Muslims, something else would have done just as well. This is the ideological equivalent of a child’s tantrum, pure and simple — a violent, unreasonable demand that the world fear Muslim might and kowtow to every Muslim sensibility. And like all tantrums, if we choose to defer to the first angry outburst, more and worse ones are sure to follow.

So there is just one thing to say about all this: “Suck it up, Muslim crybabies!”

Not that you need more proof over the brittle nature of Islam, but here is one more quote to hammer the concept home:

“Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence,” [Pakistan's] Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said.

This is as nonsensical a position as the classic BBS tagline of “Believe in a loving god, Infidel, or die!”

Here is a longish quote from TigerHawk’s post on Infantilizing Muslim rage, and his whole post is well worth reading.

Just about the entire world knows that that Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech on Tuesday condemning religious conversion by violence. The Muslim “street” did not respond until Friday, when the leaders of the Muslim religion called for their faithful to surge into the streets in an orgy of rage and violence. Not content only to burn Christian churches (neither of which follow the Catholic pope), they turned on themselves. Never in the history of Christianity has a pope been proven correct so quickly and demonstrably.

Predictably, the greatest beneficiaries of the Western enlightenment blamed reason, the true victim of Muslim rage through the ages. The editors of The New York Times said this morning, to the eternal discredit of that once great paper, that

[t]he world listens carefully to the words of any pope. And it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly. He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal.

This is obscene. Apart from its factual inaccuracy — there is no evidence that any of the enraged Muslims “listened carefully” to the words of the pope — this is like blaming a beaten wife for provoking the bastard who throttles her. It is the leaders of prayers in the mosques of the Muslim world who call on their faithful to riot in the streets. It is they who sow pain and incite violence, and anybody unburdened by a loathing of Western civilization knows it. Pope Benedict has nothing to apologize for. The leading clerics of the Muslim world have a great deal to apologize for.

Sadly, Pope Benedict is caving to the Muslim rage in a non-apology way of apologizing.

“The Holy Father is very sorry that some passages of his speech may have sounded offensive to the sensibilities of Muslim believers,” the statement said.

If you cave to a spoiled brat, you teach them that a temper-tantrum is the way to solve all their problems, and your apology will never be enough. Here’s the next two paragraphs from the BBC report proving the case.

But Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said the statement did not go far enough and called on the pontiff to apologise in person.

“The Vatican Secretary of State says that the Pope is sorry because his statements had been badly interpreted, but there is no bad interpretation,” Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, a senior official from the opposition party told AFP.

I’ll say it again — “Suck it up, Muslim crybabies!”

As could be easily predicted, Muslims are angry over the recent words of Pope Benedict XVI. Here’s a lovely image of the “Religion of Peace” entering into a calm dialogue over the Pope’s comments as posted at the Daily Mail in the United Kingdom.

Religion of Peace?

If I were to caption this image, I’d call it, “Believe Islam is a Religion of Peace or burn in hell, you son of a pig infidel!”

Anyone with a better caption?

UPDATE (9/15/2006 12:13:46 PM): Proving that he is on top of things, Charles of Little Green Footballs has several good links about this issue:

Anyone Who Describes Islam As Intolerant Encourages Violence
AFP- Benedicts Blunder
Hamas Lectures Pope on Islam
This Just In- Muslims Furious

Pope Benedict XVI spoke recently in Germany, and as I see it, he spoke the truth while quoting another person.

In his speech at Regensburg University, the German-born pontiff explored the historical and philosophical differences between Islam and Christianity and the relationship between violence and faith.

Stressing that they were not his own words, he quoted Emperor Manual II Paleologos of the Byzantine Empire, the Orthodox Christian empire which had its capital in what is now the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The emperor’s words were, he said: “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 Pope’s comments were followed quickly with predictable responses from members of the “Religion of Peace:”

Religious leader Ali Bardakoglu said the Pope’s comments represented what he called an “abhorrent, hostile and prejudiced point of view”.

A senior Pakistani Islamic scholar, Javed Ahmed Gamdi, said jihad was not about spreading Islam with the sword.

Well, if jihad isn’t about spreading Islam with the sword, Gamdi had better get the word out to his co-religionists. Here’s what a few of Gamdi’s fellow Muslims proclaimed in 1998 about the nature of jihad:

And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in “Al- Mughni,” Imam al-Kisa’i in “Al-Bada’i,” al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: “As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life.”

On that basis, and in compliance with God’s order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”

So, Mr. Gamdi, if this fatwa is wrong, I’d like to see where you publicly proclaimed that it is wrong. I’d like to see a fatwa or two from you against Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu-Yasir Rifa’i Ahmad Taha, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, and Fazlul Rahman, who issued that proclamation back in 1998.

As for Bardokoglu, who called the Pope’s quoted text an “abhorrent, hostile and prejudiced point of view”–I’d like him, or any other Muslim apologist, to point out some teaching unique to Mohammed that isn’t evil and inhuman, just as Emperor Paleologos said.

I’ll wait.

While I’m not a Catholic, I like how Pope Benedict XVI has decided to treat Muslims. From an article at National Catholic Reporter, John L. Allen, Jr. writes the following:

In his March 23 session with cardinals, much conversation turned on Islam, and there was general agreement with Benedict’s policy of a more muscular challenge on what Catholics call “reciprocity.” In essence, it means that if Muslim immigrants can claim the benefit of religious liberty in the West, then Christian minorities ought to get the same treatment in majority Muslim nations.

To take the most notorious example, if the Saudis can spend $65 million to build the largest mosque in Europe in Rome, in the shadows of the Vatican, then Christians ought to be able to build churches in Saudi Arabia. Or, if that’s not possible, Christians should at least be able to import Bibles, and the Capuchin priests who serve the Arabian peninsula ought to be able to set foot off the oil industry compounds or embassy grounds in Saudi Arabia without fear of harassment by the mutawa, the religious police. The bishop in charge of the Catholic church in that part of the world recently described the situation in Saudi Arabia as “reminiscent of the catacombs.”

I like the idea of reciprocity. I like the idea of telling Mexico that we will treat Mexican nationals in our country as well as Mexico treats foreign nationals in its own country. Or how about patroling our southern border the same way Mexico patrols its own southern border? And then we can let the terrorists know that we will treat their prisoners the same way they treat ours.