In his speech “Faith, Reason, and the University” earlier this week, Pope Benedict quoted the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus,” who said, “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.”
Not surprisingly, many Muslims are outraged, not by the historical fact that Islam (by the teaching and example of its founder) did spread through violence, but the fact that someone brought this inconvenient truth up.
A spokeswoman for the Pakistani Foreign Ministry, Tasnim Aslam, warned, “Anyone who describes Islam as a religion as intolerant encourages violence.” So let me get this straight. If we say that Islam is intolerant, Muslims will react intolerantly.
Doesn’t that prove the point?