Pell ‘provocative’ over Islam

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, would rather provoke debate than have sensible discussions about Muslims, the Islamic Council of New South Wales (ICNSW) said. ICNSW spokesman Ali Roude today said Dr Pell admitted he knew little about his subject matter.

In an interview with a US Catholic newspaper, Dr Pell again declared Islam was more warlike than Christianity. The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney told the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) Australia hadn’t been affected much by Islamic threats following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. But he said this could change depending “on how many terrorist attacks” Muslim fundamentalists could “bring off successfully”, Fairfax newspapers reported today.

ICNSW spokesman Ali Roude today said Dr Pell admitted he knew little about his subject matter. “However, as a forceful speaker and thinker, sometimes he seems tempted to put a position forward to provoke debate rather than wait for sensible discussion,” Mr Roude said.

In the NCR interview conducted in Rome, Dr Pell said “the million-dollar question” was whether intolerance was a modern distortion of Islam or arose out of internal logic. “It’s difficult to find periods of tolerance in Islam,” he was quoted as saying. “I’m not saying that they’re not there, but a good deal of what is asserted is mythical.”

It is the second time in a month Dr Pell has made controversial remarks about Islam. In early April, the religious leader commented that the Koran contained “invocations to violence” and that Islam was an intolerant faith.

Mr Roude said: “When Cardinal Pell asserts that ‘Islam is a much more warlike culture than Christianity’, I must refuse to concede him the point.

“It was Western European Christians who launched the Crusades, who conquered most of the world (including the Muslim majority regions) during the Age of Discovery, who grew strong and wealthy through the exploitation of Muslim peoples under centuries of colonialism, and who still today refuse to engage seriously on the issues of debt relief, disarmament and trade reform,” he said.

Herald Sun, 6 June 2006

Pell’s negative assessment of Islam is just not good enough for our friends over at Western Resistance. Ruy Diaz writes:

“What Cardinal Pell considers ‘a million dollar question’, of course, is not a question at all, but an established fact: Islam’s 14th centuries of rape, murder and mayhem have been propelled by the words and actions of Islam’s founder, Muhammad. The irony in this is that Cardinal Pell still goes out of his way to give Islam and Muslims a way out. He doesn’t worry enough about Muslim immigration and demographic trends that put the non-Islamic future of Europe in doubt.”