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The pope quoting a Byzantine emperor (I wish he'd quoted more)

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]
in response to reader comment: The pope quoting a Byzantine emperor.

Submitted by Ianus (Sweden), Sep 24, 2006 at 14:24

Dear Victoria H. Conro , you wrote :

The pope would have been better off to be quoting from the Bible, which is Inspired by God and not by man.

I am totally incompetent to comment on the theological aspect of your comment . But I cannot imagine a better source on understanding the violent destructive nature of Islam than Byzantine history. I'd like to thank the pope for drawing attention of a wider public for the history of the Eastern Roman empire which I have always been so fond of . Whoever knows a little of what happened to Byzantium at the hand of the Moslem hordes will only wonder why this comment was so limited, so timid, so quickly withdrawn .

Byzantium's later history is a heart-breaking narrative of agony and struggle to the death with this mortal enemy of Western and Byzantine civilization. Who knows of Hasan Baba , the head of the dervish order who was so active at the end of the 14th century ? At his little chapel at the Tempe valley the Moselms revered his sacred club with which he used to crush a hundred Christian sculls a day. After the Greeks regained Thessaly they levelled this cursed shrine to the ground. Who knows of John Kantakuzinos who invited the Turks to help him gain the imperial throne of Byzantium ? The Moslem Turks came and gave him the purple imperial garment but never left. When he realized that he withdrew to a monastery in Peloponessos and wrote his memoirs. But it was too late.

Less than 100 years after his death Byzantine was no more. Such an instructive history and so little known outside the narrow circle of Byzantine scholars and Greeks. Well, we should probably rage and threaten the pope for his cowardice . Then he might remember what past he is the representative of and what is at stake in this century long struggle of civilization against Islam .

Submitting....

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