All around the world, Musliims are taking to the streets to demonstrate against the Pope’s quotation of a fictional dialogue between a fourteenth-century Byzantine emperor and a Persian scholar which included a criticism of Islam. A heavy air of deja vu hangs over the protests, which, as always, were carefully scripted. Sometimes, though, the script is a little hard to follow. Does anyone have any idea what the sign on the right is supposed to mean?
The Pope can perhaps be excused for thinking that Islam can be associated with violence. He probably took it personally when an Islamic terrorist group plotted to assassinate his predecessor. If the Vatican ever starts assassinating imams, then they’ll really have something to protest.
It’s easy to see, though, why Muslims were so upset. The Pope went too far when he said that Muslims are the descendants of pigs and monkeys. Oh, no, wait…
In any event, the Vatican tried to defuse the crisis this morning by saying the Pope is “extremely sorry” if anything he said could be interpreted as a suggestion that Islam is associated with violence. People world-wide issued sighs of relief, hoping that violence has been averted. Somehow, though, I think this guy and his comrades will be offended again before long: