David Warren on the Muslim response to PBXVI

“An extraordinary thing happened a week ago. Thirty-eight Muslim scholars and chief muftis, from across the Muslim world, jointly replied to the Pope’s speech at Regensburg (and more have associated their names with this document, since). It was presented to the Vatican’s envoy at Amman; the full text in English is available through the Islamica magazine website, the Catholic website, Chiesa, and elsewhere. I look through the list of signatories, and they are a “who’s who” of the learned leaders of a faith that has always aspired to be led by its most learned.

One of the points the Pope has made, about the difficulty of engaging in dialogue with Islam, is to know who speaks authoritatively for it — as, for instance, the Pope can speak for Catholic Christians. The document answers that question. In effect, the signatories reply, “Here we are.” Here, for Muslims as well as Christians to read, is an authoritative contemporary statement by men who DO speak for Islam. Not for “moderate Islam”, whatever that could mean, but for the living religion itself. And they speak in forthright contradiction of the welter of idiotic fatwas issuing from Afghan caves, the Sunni Triangle, and the North London Central Mosque.”


  1. Here is the Islamica Magazine article about the letter, with a link to the full text.

  2. Rufus McCain says

    There was also an interesting piece on NPR this afternoon regarding the term “jihad” — how the extremists have bastardized the term, and that Western media and politicians offend billions of muslims every time the term is used with purely negative connotations. Someone proposed we should instead use the word “hirabah” in talking about Al Qaeda et al.

  3. Ummm…you know that David Warren (otiosus@sympatico.ca) is an alcoholic, right?

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