Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
As the BBC notes:
In the West Bank city of Nablus, two churches were firebombed on Saturday in attacks claimed by a group which said it was protesting against the Pope's remarks.
They are protesting against a link between Islam and violence by firebombing churches? The standard western reaction to that is: What mad perversion of reason made them think that was logical? But this, I think, misses the point.
The truth is of course, they are not protesting, they are punishing, and the Pope has fallen for it. Theodore Dalrymple once said:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.
What better way to humiliate those who dare to link Islam with violence than to do violence to them in the name of Islam while insisting that it is a religion of peace? The Pope, by apologising, has merely tried to appease. And, as anybody might guess, by appeasing has encouraged his tormentors to further demands: "Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said the statement did not go far enough and called on the pontiff to apologise in person," the BBC reports.