Benedict’s Papal bull is worthy of Blair

“The Pope’s sectarian attack on Islam at Regensburg was strikingly reminiscent of Tony Blair’s Los Angeles speech on August 1, whooping it up for the War on Terror…. In Los Angeles, Blair referred to an ‘elemental struggle about values … for the soul of the region’, in which the West, perforce, must play a part: ‘We want moderate, mainstream Islam to triumph over reactionary Islam.’ Both men defend Western intervention in the Muslim world to sort out good Islam from bad Islam. The difference between Pope and Premier is the difference between Tweedledum and Tweedle DD.

“This is the main reason Muslims are outraged at Benedict. It doesn’t have to do with irrational sensitivity on the part of religious fundamentalists. It has to do with the function of the Regensburg speech as war propaganda. Aggressors in all wars call history in evidence to elevate their own purpose while demonising (it’s the right word in this context) the enemy. Thus, Benedict’s specific charge was that Islam, of its nature, in contrast to Christianity, endorses the notion of ‘spreading the faith through violence’. The dishonesty is of positively Blairite proportion.”

Eamonn McCann in the Belfast Telegraph, 21 September 2006