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There's an Arab saying...

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]
in response to reader comment: Muslim riots. Spontaneous or organised?

Submitted by J.S. (Canada), Sep 25, 2006 at 15:51

to the effect that "the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on..." This suggests that the "little people" will bark and snarl -- but not to worry; it's of no importance. The people who are perceived as "powerful" -- such as the pope or a head of state -- these people have more weight in the eyes of Islam. Thus, the pope's comments are seen as "important."

Whether the demonstrations are designed or spontaneous -- I suspect it's a bit of both -- rumours fly, allegations arise, angry mobs convene...I heard that sometimes the demonstrations (in Iran during the 80s for example) were entirely orchestrated -- the chants in unison of "Death to Amerika!!" etc, were done for the benefit of the cameras (usually the Western film crews.) All staged. But some of these demonstrations (the cartoon protests and ones against the pope), I do beleive, reflect real anger (spontaneous) and underlies the misunderstandings between East and West. There's the constant chirping from pro-Islamists that "The West is at war with Islam!! Islam must be defended!!" The usual propaganda -- which seems impossible to dispel.

Anyway, I am somewhat pleased that the pope did not totally cave during his meeting with Muslims. Apparently the pope presented two "ideas" -- 1) an entreaty for non violence 2) reciprocity -- or freedom of religion for christians living in Muslam lands. (I suspect neither can be attained).

Submitting....

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