Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Is the Pope's apology enough?
In a speech last week, the Pope cited a Medieval text that characterized some of the
teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his
command to spread by the sword the faith."
This is what started the issue, the current status...The Pope made a public apology stating that he was "deeply sorry" that Muslims had taken offense. Some are questioning if this is a sufficient apology to the Muslim community especially on the brink of his first trip into a Muslim country since his becoming Pope.
Here is my take on this. His apology is technically enough. He is saying that he did not mean to cause any offense and that is really all that is "technically" required. However in a situation as this a little more give on his end might be a good idea.
It is true that he was not referring to his own views when he cited the text, however by using it he should have had the forethought to see that it could cause offense to the Muslim community. Especially given that has a Cardinal the Pope spent a good amount of effort attempting to keep Turkey out of the EU. Whether his comments had anything to do with this or not he now needs to consider that it does make him look a bit bad to have done that and now to say something that makes him look very anti-Muslim while at the same time stating that he want to coexist with Islam.
I am of two minds on this. The first tells me that what he has offered as an apology is enough and the Muslim community should be open minded enough to accept it. The other tells me that if he is sincere in his apology it would do no harm, and a lot of good, for him to make the apology a bit more clear and personal. Something along the lines of "I am truly sorry that I offended the Muslim community, it was not my intention and I will be more sensitive in the future as we continue to work together for a peaceful coexistence." rather than something that could be interpreted as him saying that he's sorry that they got offended, but not that he said it.
Just my two cents on this issue.