Papal developments

One small thing that puzzles me about the speech in Regensburg last week: why was the English translation notably more offensive than what the Pope actually said? If you compare the “English”: and “German”: versions on the Vatican website, the English has “only wicked and inhuman things” for a phrase — _nur Schlechtes und Inhumanes_ — which seems to me and to both [“dictionaries(“Langenscheidt not on line”)”:] I have consulted actually to mean “only bad and inhumane things”. In both cases, a mild adjective has been substituted by a much harsher one. Why? If anyone has asked the Vatican, no answer has apeared in print. Yet this one detail seems to me to be a point at which the degree of offence offered to Muslims was clearly increased.

So we might assume that someone in the Pope’s entourage wanted the clash of civilisations reading, even if he didn’t himself; and I remain convinced that he didn’t. This reading is strengthened by Cormac going on the radio this morning to express doubt about whether Turkey should join the EU. What I thought was slimy about that was the way he justified it by claiming that the Turks had not approached EU standards of transparency, democracy, and so on. Well, which EU? Are they really that much worse than the Rumanians, the Bulgarians, or the Croats?

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8 Responses to Papal developments

  1. Rupert says:

    I’m a little confused on one point here. Is the Vatican statelet in the EU? How does it stack up on openness, democracy and so on?


  2. David Weman says:

    “Are they really that much worse than the Rumanians, the Bulgarians, or the Croats?”

    Yes, far worse.

  3. Bill Thompson says:

    I think I need to lie down… scanning through the page I saw ‘Paypal developments’ and started to read… it’s been a long day, clearly 🙂

  4. acb says:

    I don’t believe the Vatican is in the EU (though if it isn’t, someone is missing an exciting opportunity in the duty free trade).

  5. Paul Wood says:

    I do regret for so many reasons that the Pope whom I admire immensely used that quotation from the Emperor. One reason is the unnecessary passions he unwittingly inflamed. Another is that he will be treated with grave suspicion when he next critiques Islam. There are lots of other reasons. But he has said that the Emperor’s view is not one he shares which seems to be going a bit far for the Vicar of Christ. I know nothing about the Koran or Islam but I just came by chance on this quotation in Wikipedia from a recent moslem apostate:
    “The Koran does not contain a single humane teaching that was not here before Islam. Mankind will not lose a single moral precept if Islam is not there tomorrow. After consulting the Koran, the hadith, the Prophet’s biography, and Islamic history for years, with a guarded, open mind, I related the past to the present. People tried reforming Islam; it never worked. Again and again, Islam was mortgaged in the hands of killer leadership, while the rest of the Muslim world only said ‘this is not real Islam’.” — from Muhammad bin Abdulla’s “Now I Am Guided” in Leaving Islam.

  6. Paul says:

    Here is something interesting I found in a review of “Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out” on Amazon

    bq(loony). I am from a British Pakistani upbringing and I currently live in the United States. These stories of brave, beautiful and noble apostates are very much the story of my mother, my sister and me. We were living in London’s East End when my father began a very disturbing turn to Islamic fundamentalism. His humour and lovable nature disappeared. He became a completely different person, devoted to Wahhabism. He hated the West in every way shape or form. When we were in France, he said he wanted to beat a girl who was sunbathing topless on a nearby beach. He began striking my mother regularly. One day he was going off on one of his anti-Western diatribes when he had to answer his cell phone. When he hung up, I said that if he hates the West so much, he should stop using a cell phone as it was developed with Western technology and science. Then he hit me.
    My family left him quickly and quietly one afternoon, and we have never returned since.
    I will be blunt. Islam does not value life. It does not value love. It does not value progression or enlightenment. The only thing Islam values is the worship of a god. And not just any god, but a brutal war god who commands his children to kill one another. You often hear lukewarm and moderate Muslims saying that fundamentalists, Wahhabists and Islamists do not represent true Islam. They are lying. It is they who are not following true Islam.
    As afraid of Islam as the West is, the truth is Islam is much more afraid of the West and the changing 21st century world. It is out of fear that the radical cleric orders a fatwa against apostates and critics of the faith. It was out of fear that millions of imbeciles protested and spewed hatred at the Danish people, a non-Muslim people who were simply exercising their right to free speech in their own country. It was fear that made a pathetic young thug butcher Theo Van Gogh for exercising his free speech rights in his own non-Muslim country. Any critique or truth seeking sojourn into what makes Islam tick is ferociously set upon by the Muslim world’s mobs, because they are deathly afraid and insecure about the religion that they value more than the lives of their children.
    I urge everyone to read this book

  7. Saltation says:

    >”Are they really that much worse than the Rumanians, the Bulgarians, or the Croats?”
    >Yes, far worse.

    have to agree with david on this one.
    to equate turkey with romania/bulgaria (and to a more muddled extent, croatia), is to follow preferred memes rather than to follow reported events.

    i suggest keeping an eye on , if you worry that AP etc are filtering.

  8. Saltation says:

    oh, by the way: %(loony) by dint of leaving the islamic faith, muhammad bin abdulla and the “my mother, my sister and me” of the amazon review are all under sentence of death, and it is the religious duty of all muslims to effect it.%

    this is the sort of thing that nutter extremists lap up as an excuse. same as extremist christians blowing up abortion clinics.

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