Pope Benedict XVI was lucky to leave Lebanon unharmed during his September trip to the turmoil-ridden country. Mobs of mad Muslims took to the streets of Tripoli condemning him. One person was killed. So why didn’t we hear anything from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about this religious intolerance? Is it because she was too busy telling us what a “great religion” Islam is?
At a briefing with Morocco’s foreign minister at the State Department, Clinton criticized the anti-Islamic film that was being tied to Muslim violence in the Middle East. She didn’t mince words, saying, “It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage.” To which Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post said, “Amen.”
Similarly, the editorial desk of the New York Times had these words of wisdom from Roger Cohen: “Since when was extreme bigotry that portrays the followers of one of the world’s great religions as child molesters an American value?”
This kind of sick tilting to Islam, all the while feeling free to bash Catholicism, is operative on the other side of the Atlantic as well. Roger Bolton, who ran religious broadcasting for the BBC for 12 years, recently said that the BBC is afraid to mock Islam but delights in bashing Christianity.
Ever since 9/11, those who claim to be horrified by religious extremism have shown nothing but deference to Islam—even though those responsible explicitly carried out their carnage in the name of their religion—while showing nothing but contempt for Christianity. When was the last time Christianity was called a “great religion” deserving of respect?
On the same day we addressed this issue, the Times’ website featured a story about the pope’s visit to Lebanon saying, “In a dark moment in his papacy in 2006, Benedict angered Muslims when on a visit to Germany he quoted a Byzantine emperor who had called Islam ‘evil and inhuman.’” Dark moment or moment of courage?