He had always been in the shadows of the late Pope John Paul II. But now, he is the Pope! Benedict XVI, a name reflective of a shift in the theological ideals and philosophy of the late John Paul II. Joseph Ratzinger, the hawkish and learned theologian, has once again gone back in time, into the medieval archives. This time, the holy father unearthed the citations of a 14th century Byzantine Christian monarch. Why now?
This is the question that continues to run through the minds of religious observers world wide, especially about a man, who had worked tirelessly with his predecessor to establish the office of the Inter-faith dialogue in the Holy See.
While some school of thought saw the eloquent and conservative Pope well fitted in this era, others believe that a continued diplomatic use of words (that have not helped anyway) was the best in managing a global nuisance that seemed not to be abating. Especially when one of the three Abrahamic religions appear to have chosen violence as her trade-mark
Nigeria’s Francis Cardinal Arinze, headed the now defunct Inter-faith dialogue section of the Holy See, but all his entreaties did little to stop the pathological religious blood-shed in his own country.The latest protests about the Pope’s address was silly and uncalled for, the holy father was after all quoting the last Byzantine Emperor. The verbal
Attacks on him has certainly irked crusade-minded Christians around the world Modern Islamic renaissance has been characterized with violence and brutish interpretation of the Koran by extremist groups such as the Taliban and Al Quaida. And the same philosophy has guided other militant groups like the Al Aqsa martyrs Brigade and the Hezbollah. While these groups have become a symbol of resistance to the less enlightened minds, their violent nature has on the one hand, stereotyped the moderates within the faith. Such that the albatross of 9/11 and all the bloody acts of these groupshave caused a lot of havoc to the social life of the moderate Muslims and governments around the globe–Air traveling, employment, social interaction and tourism.
I was not surprised to see large Turkish Christian converts in a pentecostal church in South-East London. But, who wouldn’t? When within a group, there are members whose raison d’etre is to kill at the slightest pretext. Extremists have hijacked a religion of about 1 billion people, and continued to pollute a faith that is battling to save her already
battered image. And what has compounded the matter, is the inability of the custodians of the religion, Saudi Arabia, to straighten out those verses in the Koran that are frequently misinterpreted as meaning to kill a fellow human being (Jihad), in the name of God.
No law is above reform, more so when it’s constantly linked to the wasting of human lives. The inability of Islam to transform; adjust its medieval tenets to conform with modern realities will continue to precipitate religious upheaval around the globe.
On the other hand, the citizens of the Arab and Islamic world have been deeply indoctrinated with anti-Zionism, Christianity and the West by their political elites. And this has paid off handsomely. While the brain-washed populace were made to rain abuses on Israel and the West, their Presidents were busy perfecting their enthronement of dynasties. While the citizens were made to blow up themselves with bombs, the children of the elites were placed in Ivy-league schools in the West, preparatory to political
leadership back-home. This political ploy can not be ruled out as behind the longevity of the Assad dynasty in Syria, Mubarak in Egypt, Qaddafi in Libya, the late Arafat and the PLO and Saddam Hussein with his Revolutionary command council in Iraq.
The same diversionarytactics could not be ruled out as a factor in the social and educational backwardness of the mainly Muslim Northern Nigeria. Nigerians are living witnesses to the huge sums that have been spent up there, designated as “educational disadvantaged area”.36 years after the civil war, Imo state alone records higher University applicants than the whole of the North put together.
While the Northern commoners were made to believe that the Igbo “Nyamiri” infidels in their midst were the cause of their problems, their political leaders and their anointed heirs continued to savour the ruins of their non productive human resources. Then it will be easy to obey and execute a Jihad at the slightest opportunity. How could the learned Pope have erred with another man’s citation?