Pope Benedict XVI and Islam
The Pope’s relationship with Islam has been the cause of much of the violence in the Middle East against Christians. Pope Benedict’s speech on September 2006 inflamed religious tension in the volatile Middle East when he quoted Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Palaiologos by saying “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.” Essentially, the Pope characterized Islam as a violent religion, which created controversy in the Middle East.
Today’s Christian Crusades
Many already see recent US and Israeli military actions and wars as an extension of the Christian genocidal campaigns against Muslims during the beginning of last century. Professor Hans Koechler claimed the Pope Benedict’s comments in 2006 were “restating the anti-Islamic sentiments of the period of the crusades,” in an article published by Future Islam, titled “Religion, Reason, and Violence: Pope Benedict XVI and Islam.” Koechler claimed the Pope’s depiction of Islam as “evil” was simplistic and one-sided.
Although Pope Benedict claimed his Christmas Day speech was in the name of peace and goodwill, the true purpose of the speech may have been more complicated. The Pope used the speech to highlight injustice against Christians in the Middle East. This in turn puts political pressure on Western leaders to continue their wars against Islamic regimes and al-Qaeda, which are followers of a religion that the Pope believes to be evil. The Pope’s Christmas Day speech is a disguised attempt to further the Vatican’s religious war against Islam.