SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS and RELIGION
The headlines regarding the Pope's visit remain in stark contrast with those about Islamic cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The Pope called the mass [at Yankee Stadium] "a summons to move forward with firm resolve to use wisely the blessings of freedom, in order to build a future of hope for coming generations."
Meanwhile, al-Sadr was quoted in Time as saying, "I am giving you my final warning," Al-Sadr's message urged the Iraqi government to end its crackdown and take the "road of peace." If not, al-Sadr said, "I will declare it open war until liberation." CNN noted that "Iraq's top Shiite religious leaders have told anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr not to disband his Mehdi Army, an al-Sadr spokesman said Monday amid fresh fighting in the militia's Baghdad strongholds."
One religion's leader calls upon his religion's followers to build a future of hope through prayer while other another religion's leaders call upon their people to travel the "road of peace" by waging war against their own nation.Perhaps time is all that is needed. Past popes commanded armies and directed horrific actions. It wasn't until the kings of Europe neutralized the military power of the popes that the power of that office returned to its true religious origins... a religion that preaches love for all and God's forgiveness of sins. Unfortunately, time may not be enough. The true origins of Islam seem to be focused on domination of non-believers and submission to the will of Allah... as interpreted through the voices of clerics like Moqtada al-Sadr.
Defenders of civil rights need to understand this distinction when criticizing those who speak out against the secular activities of Islamists. Democracies and freedom are easily destroyed by those who are antagonistic toward those democracies, but use the democratic institutions against themselves [HT: Astute Bloggers]. Ask the people of Venezuela. Ask the people of Turkey who really understand this...