Africa: Reactions to Pope's remarks

A speech by Pope Benedict XVI in Germany last week has received mixed reactions in the African blogosphere. The speech has generally provoked outrage in the Muslim world. The Pope quoted Byzantine Emperor Manuel II 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.”

Kenyan Entrepreneur writes in defense of Islam and reminds us of violence against the African people by the West during the colonial period:

Islam is not a violent religion. Individuals have used Islam to pursue their own violent agenda's. The same thing has happened with christianity. The Europeans used Christianity to colonize Africa. They stole our land, killed us and turned us into indentured servants, all in the name of “Jesus”. If you don't believe me, just ask Cholomdeley how his “ancestors” acquired all that land in Laikipia. [Note: Laikipia is a district in Central Kenya]

Naijaman wonders why the remarks by the Pope have become such an important agenda for the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf:

The president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf has gone to the UN to request a ban on the “defamation of Islam”! Next the president of India will be calling for a ban on the “defamation of hinduism”! How sad that the quotes of the pope in far away Germany has become the most important “agenda” on the mind of the President of Pakistan, an illegitimate coup plotter who should be more worried about the pervasive poverty, illiteracy and joblessness in his country. Here is a man presiding over a country that presently harbours arguably the most wanted terrorist of all time, here is a man who presides over a nation that is fast becoming a top exporter of “home-grown terrorists”, here is a man who should be more worried of the growing insurgency in neighboring Afghanistan thnaks to the Taleban, yet here is a man who is more worried about those who “defame Islam”.

In another post, Naijaman sees the violence that has resulted from Pope's remarks as a clear indication that terrorism is not a reaction to injustices in places such as Palestine:

Now they have simply revealed what we knew all along, that terrorism was not really about “palestinian injustice and deepseated wounds” but about a covert attempt to conquer the world for Islam!

It is easy to cite “injustice” as excuses for attacks against the west but how true is this? Are these really altruistic motives? The recent threat from al-qaeda to conquer Rome and hoist the flag of Islam over Europe is clear sign that the fight is not really about Palestine, injustice or US policy but about a crusade to conquer the world for Islam. Why is France under threat? What excuse have the terrorists to attack Rome, Italy, Germany and other European nations? Was India a participant in the palestinian injustice? What about Java and Spain? Did they also partake in bombing Lebanon?

Christians do not need to apologize for preaching against any religion that does not accept Jesus as their savior, Orikinla shares his views on the matter in Nigerian Times:

I am a Christian from a very strong Roman Catholic background in Nigeria and I have lived and worked for Muslims and sat with Imams to discuss their Koran and our Holy Bible.

As Christians we must not have apologies or regrets whenever we preach against an evil or any religion that does not accept our Saviour Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Islam is antiChrist.

Pope Benedict XVI does not owe any Muslim or Muslims any apology and you cannot threaten and intimidate him to apologize or regret his statement against the evils of Islam.

Realities 2006 writes briefly about the effect of Pope’s remarks:

65 years old Nun named Sister Leonella, whose birth name was Rosa Sgorbati and had lived and worked in Kenya and Somalia for the last 38 years had been gunned down.
Sister Leonella was shot in the back four times by two men armed with pistols, and
The shootings occurred at noon yesterday at the Austrian-run S.O.S. hospital for women and children in volatile northern Mogadishu.

The possibility of violence against non-Muslims in Northern Nigeria because of Pope's remarks worries Emeka. He fears for his friends safety:

The main reaction I have is that of fear! Fear for my friends leaving in northern Nigeria because I know that in situations like this, whenever there is turmoil related to religion, it boils down violently to Nigeria. History will prove my point; In February 2000, at the time of the introduction of the Sharia system of legislature in some northern states in Nigeria, the violence that erupted claimed hundreds of lives. Similar incidents was recorded at intervals in subsequent years especially in April, 2003 during/after the Iraq war. The worst of them was in February this year, at the height of the cartoon controversy about the prophet Mohammad published by a Danish newspaper. Some Islamic militias felt that the best way to correct such cartoons was to kill innocent Nigerians.

The Pope receives free advice from three bloggers. While Ainashe advices the Pope to build bridges between religions:

In his new role as the “Pope” for the Catholics, Joseph Ratzinger should be building bridges between religious believers; he should not be igniting controversies in an already volatile world with lots of irrational religious hostilities.

Naijaman advices the Pope to use Latin next time!:

My advice to the Pope next time you want to say something nasty about muslims say it in Latin, that way they won't understand.

Naijablog posts a cartoon saying,“Your Holiness, next time ask yourself, ‘What would Jesus Do’?”


  • Bitacle Blog Search Archive – Africa: Reactions to Pope’s remarks…

    […] A speech by Pope Benedict XVI in Germany last week has received mixed reactions in the African. […]…

  • I’ve linked to this post (Sep 20th) without using the trackback URL. Have to remember to do that next time :-) I have managed to drill down deeper into this controversy and publish responses and articles from the German press and the German political establishment, including a no-holds-barred article from one of the Pope Benedict’s former students at Regensburg University, Father Joseph Fessio (Ph.D.-Theology). In addition, I have written my own opinion from the African-American moderate center and an Anglo-American Moms roundup about the controversy over the Pope’s remarks.

    Add a dash of bitters and a twist of lemon, shake vigorously, pour over ice, and run like Hell. People are not remaining silent about this latest outrage.

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