On November 4, 2008 Time Magazine published an article pertaining to a speech the pope made concerning the idea of reason in religion, with reference to Islamic religious traditions of ‘violence’. The article is titled Vatican Launches Catholic-Islamic Dialogue by Jeff Israely. It documents the speech given at the University of Regensburg in 2006, providing a general review of the situation involved and continued with modern efforts of reconciliation and furthering of knowledge and understanding towards both religions.
In the speech, pope Benedict made a comment concerning the acts of violence that seem prevalent in modern Islamic communities. This generalization is both true and false. It is true since the political climate in that country has been quite hot for a long while now, which creates situations that are often rooted in religious and political differences. I say religious because religion is such an important fact of their life, therefore they live, breath, and express themselves through their beliefs. As a result, many times religion is blamed for or associated with political confrontations. On the other hand, religion can be the instigator of many violent interactions because their beliefs are so strong; this refers to the extremists, which are quite a small minority in Islamic countries.
It was stated in the article that many Muslims were insulted by the correlation between their religion and violence. They need to face facts that this does occur. Though the media fuels many beliefs, assumptions, and stereotypes associated with the Islamic community, they must also look toward the extremists for blame, instead of becoming mad over something that is in many ways quite factual. However, I do agree that the pope should not be the one who said it since it creates more dislike toward the Catholic religion, especially since he is the main representative of said religion.
Further on in the article, Israely discussed how a meeting or dialogue was to take place between the Catholics and Muslims. This is quite exciting since it may lead to understanding on both sides of the religion for the other. Therefore discontent and false assumptions towards both can be laid to rest and further relations can be progressive toward an end result accepted by both. The current pope is great in how he views things logically, so instead of focusing on commonalities between the two religions and drawing these into discussions, he focuses on how the differences MAKE the religions and how we can understand them as good rather than bad things. Based on this article, I feel encouraged that some sort of communication and relationship between the two religions will spell understanding that would lead to acts of peace and not tolerance, since tolerance never works when one involves religion.
Israely, Jeff, Vatican Launches Catholic-Islamic Dialogue Time Magazine, November 4, 2008. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1856185,00.html