Mohammed’s head on a plate

Earlier this week, Berlin’s German Opera removed an interpretation of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” from it’s schedule due to fear of Islamic attacks on this opera. The reason for these fears, the closing scene of the opera depicts the decapitated heads of Jesus Christ, Buddha, the Greek god Poseidon and, of course, Mohammed.

Now, as a Christian, I personally find the idea of this ending distasteful, offensive and perhaps even blasphemous, but I’m not going to attack the Opera to stop it. In fact, I think they should continue with the show. As long as I don’t have to support it, they should be able produce anything they want. I’m not going to attack the Opera, or Germany. To my knowledge no Christian groups have threatened to attack the Opera. In fact there is no concern of physical action by Buddhists or Poseidon worshipers either. Amazing how this so called “religion of peace” has everyone scared to death.

Fortunately, there is a voice of reason. German officials are encouraging the Opera to continue with their show. In fact, culture minister Bernd Neumann is quoted as saying:

“If worries about possible protests lead to self-censorship, that threatens democratic culture. It requires tolerance and courage from us all: tolerance in the face of uncomfortable opinions and courage in the face of controversy. You cannot solve problems by being silent.”

Religion of peace

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week or so you have heard about the Pope’s offensive remarks about Islam. Recently in speech the Pope

referred to criticism of the Prophet Muhammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything the prophet brought was evil “such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Muslim groups had this response to the Pope’s statement, in which he was only quoting a historical document not directly denouncing Islam himself:

Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq vowed war on “worshippers of the cross” and protesters burned a papal effigy…

Muslim fundamentalists, and western organizations like the New York Times, who are appearantly sympathetic to radical Muslims, have been begging Pope Benedict for a retraction of his statement. Sunday, the Pope addressed the matter but did not retract his statements. In fact, he reiterated his point that we should all reject religiously motivated violence.

To me, this whole issue is insane and ironic for the following reasons.

  1. Islam and Christianity are, and always have been, incompatible. Muslims continually point at the Christians (and Jews) as being evil, but when a Christian leader points out the same opinions about Islam worldwide riots erupt.
  2. The New York Times is defending Islam. Barely five years ago the city this newspaper represents was attacked by militian Muslims, but now the paper is leaping to their defense? How crazy is that?
  3. Islam is by it’s very nature violent. The Koran actively encourages it’s followers to spread the religion by the sword. This is not a myth, this is not a misinterpretation, this is a fact and it has been a method of operation for Muslims for thousands of years. There are many Muslims that don’t take this literally, but at it’s heart Islam is rooted in violence. Conversely, the Christian gospels constantly renounce violence. Christ made it clear that he did not advocate violent action in any way. Not that many wars haven’t been fought in the name of the Chrisitan God, but many times those wars were initiated by corrupt church officials not following the words of Christ.
  4. Declaring War on “worshippers of the cross” is neither new or peaceful. How are these people convincing anyone they are peaceful when every time they get offended they start killing people? How are all these liberal groups defending a religion that is committing violent crimes every time someone makes a statement they don’t like?

The only thing I understand less than the actions of Muslims on a worldwide scale is the readiness of social and political groups everywhere to constantly defend them. While I believe that, at least here in the US, Muslims have (and should continue to have) the right to peacefully worship in any way they wish, I also believe that there is a significant segment of Muslims worldwide that take the text of their religion to heart. These people are violent and dangerous because of Islam. The sooner we recognize and admit this the better off we will be.