Why do ‘we’ keep having to apologise to Muslims, Ruth Gledhill asks

“… I do have some sympathy for the Pope’s predicament. It is indeed a tragic irony, as many have noted, that a speech intended to further interfaith dialogue and understanding has had precisely the opposite effect, actually provoking outbreaks of extremism of the very kind he was warning against. And the general population is with the Pope. In a Sky poll of viewers, nearly everyone, more than 98 per cent, said he should not apologise.

“After all, we in the West have truly suffered at the hands of the Salafi Jihadists, as the Archbishop of York suggests we call them. We’ve had 9/11, 7/7 and narrowly escaped another. There is Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, and I am among those who firmly resist placing responsibility for the ills committed in these wars solely at the feet of the West. It does seem bizarre that we do keep having to apologise to Muslims.

“‘Turn the other cheek’ says the Christian religion of the West and we do seem to keep doing just that. In spite of the fact that those responsible for the terrorist atrocities would themselves confess to being of the Islamic faith, and of committing their crimes in the name of Islam, even to write about Islam and terrorism in the same sentence is fast becoming surefire way to end up on Islamophobia Watch at the very least.”

Ruth Gledhill’s weblog, 16 September 2006