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September 17, 2006

Comments

Douglas Knight

Andy I don't think this is right. I think the pope is doing the right thing for the muslims in encouraging them to see that islam
can take its part in the debate about what is true (and scientific) and what is good (and thus helps build peaceful civil society and maturity for all its members) and so showing both muslim intellectuals and western liberals that muslims have to cut the link between disagreement and violence - for their own sake. "Come let us reason together" he is saying, to muslims and to western secular liberals, and this is essentially to give them the gospel promise of peace and truth - and freedom from the resentments that motivate both western liberals and muslim jihad.

andy goodliff

Douglas, thanks for your comment. I don't think he made that very clear. In the media age of sound-bite and where words are pulled out of context, I think you have to be more careful. I agree that was what he may have been trying to do. Rowan Williams sometimes gets into this problem as well. I think when the media are going to pick up on everything you say you have to be more careful with your words. The speech doesn't seem addressed to Muslims, but did he know it would cause a reaction? I think Muslims are right to push him to say more and apologise for any unintentional offence caused. As I think he is right to challenge them to debate rather than these violent outbursts. You could ask is this the best way to challenge the Muslim world? Here Rowan Williams seems to be finding a better way in encouraging dialogue.

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