Pope Benedict XVI Distorts History to Serve US Causehd
Indian Communist Party
The outburst of the quotation-mongering Pope Benedict XVI which caused such an uproar among people of Muslim faith cannot be seen in isolation. When Huntington ’s theory of ‘clash of civilisations’ was being actively propagated around the world, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he was the most intellectually equipped theologian serving Pope John.
After disintegration of Soviet Union, the US neo-conservatives, then led by Bush senior, recognised the utility of this theory and soon propagated the clash of Christianity against Islam as the basis for realising their goal of converting 21st century in to an American (i.e., US) century. It was at that time Cardinal Ratzinger came to limelight with his statement that Christianity is the cornerstone of Europe .
He also opposed Turkey ’s admission in to European Union. This statement along with other factors had played a major role in the spreading of racial and religious hatred in Europe and in the strengthening of the extreme rightist groups including neo-fascists in most of the European countries.
Once Bush junior took over at Washington , the neo-conservative cabal launched an all out hegemonic offensive utilising the attack on WTC in 2001 as a pretext. Once again ‘clash of civilisations’ was spread energetically even utilising ‘evangelist’ support for winning elections in 2002 and 2004. Islam was consciously equated with fundamentalism and terrorism.
That every other religion — Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, etc. — is equally fundamentalist and they have indulged/and now indulging in terrorist activities according to concrete situation was sidelined. As this attack on Islam as a faith that promotes terrorism was intensified, in reaction to it fundamentalism among Muslims got further strengthened. Thus imperialism and world reaction have created conditions to target Muslims and Muslim countries to carry forward their long-awaited task of establishing hegemony over oil-rich West Asia.
At such a time the scholarly Pope who knows well about the world situation, or is supposed to know, goes on a visit to his native Baveria in Germany and in a speech in his former college quoted from a reported dialogue of 1391 by the Byzantine emperor Manual II Paleogous and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam and the truth of both, linking Islam with violence. It cannot be written off as an accidental utterance. How could he make such a statement when the brutality of Crusades and the atrocities committed under the orders of Vatican in the dark middle ages across Europe are part of history?
If, as he stated later, the few passages of his speech did not express his personal thought and his intention was for “a frank and sincere dialogue with mutual respect”, he should not have made the statement in such a speech, but should have presented whatever is to be debated to an assembly of historians well-versed with the developments in the ‘dark ages’ of Europe.
Not only his statement was calculated, but also the way he sought excuse for it. What he said was he is “deeply sorry for the reactions”, not for what he said. It was a clear provocation.
In a world situation when Muslim countries are attacked and occupied violating their sovereignty, when Israel could barbarously bombard and attack Lebanon with immunity just because it has sizable Muslim population and Muslims are identified with terrorism and attacked, alienated everywhere, it is but natural that they react strongly.
How can a Pope who did not condemn Israeli attacks on Palestine and Lebanon , US atrocities around the world, blame Islam for terrorism, and then expect that nobody will respond to it?
Pope is playing the US game. He is assisting US imperialism to export counter-revolution to all corners of the world. All secular, democratic forces should condemn his divisive philosophy.
The theory of ‘clash of civilisations’ and the way imperialism and reaction are utilising it to spread fundamentalism in all religions should be exposed and criticised. What happened in history under various religious bigots and their royal assistance should be frankly discussed in a responsible manner without evoking religious passions so that the ordinary people can also know about them. But the way Pope Benedict XVI is approaching the problem will only incite religious hatred.