Like a Bull at a gait
You just knew that the recent wrangle between Pope Benedict XVI and angry Muslims (apparently a demographic as large as peaceful Quakers or contemplative Buddhists)was going to catch the interest of Touched By The Son:
A senior Anglican cleric commented on the Pope's relative newness to the job for the seeming gaffe in quoting ancient criticism of Islam's prophet. But this is a backhanded show of support as Roman Catholics are well aware of the real implications of the pontiff speaking ex cathedra - if a Pope with the subtlety of Prince Philip were to occupy the position, his pronouncements would still be infallible. But that is a belief that would ONLY be held by a Catholic and may be a moot point if the Pope wasn't speaking ex cathedra at the time. He was also not expressing a personal view on Mohammad - as he was at pains to point out - but quoting the views of a Christian scholar from the Middle Ages.
So are the Islam extremists who killed a charitable old nun because of what the Pope said, being reactionary dickwads? It may look that way but let's examine an equation that is known to hold true
[Perceived] Criticism of the Prophet = Muslims on the Rampage
and that's because the prophet put that booby trap in there; an endlessly recursive booby trap.
We can find fault with that "You will all do as I say and anyone that criticises me/your prophet will be dealt with" line but we also can't say we didn't see it dug deep in the sand. Danish cartoonists, Indian writers, German priests - no one can say a word against Mohammad. Is this fair when Muslims openly laugh at Hindu deities, every two bit scruff wants to start a band with a blasphemous reference to Jesus, Buddha is made to squat out in the garden with a couple of gnomes and a concrete dreamtime?.. Scientologists are quite litigious when it comes to taking L Ron Hubbard's name in vain but even they thankfully have not taken to chopping our heads off as an example to something, or of holding reporters hostage until they swear in an e-meter that they will go clear.
This is not to let any religion off the hook; tonight's Four Corners made abundantly clear the human cost of faith in a higher power. I am attacking the reasoning. And there's no small irony that the effigy burners in Pakistan, the brothers declaring that the spiritual leader of millions across the world should get down in supplication for his comments, confirm and attest to the text that Pope Benedict quoted in the first place.
Looked at logically, the booby trap backfires as the only convincing rebuttal to unjudicious comments never meant as Papal Bull, is to show by example that the Prophet shared wisdom rather than sowing discord.