Zogby gets it right, again.I wish I'd thought of the "remove the beam from your own eye" bible verse!
After writing my own analysis, I came across James Zogby's column. I always find it reassuring when an expert comes to the same conclusions as me.
James Zogby: Using or Abusing Religion
"I don't know why Pope Benedict XVI sought to quote what could only be described as an anti-Muslim diatribe to open his speech on the unacceptability of using religion to justify violence. [Note: This is all especially troubling to me because I am Catholic and have PhD in Islamic Studies.]
It would have been more appropriate for him to choose a quote closer to home. After all the 14th Century source he cited was no angel, and the period in which he ruled, sandwiched, as it was, between the bloody Crusades and the equally bloody Inquisition could have provided Benedict with enough material to make his point--without resorting to a sweeping mischaracterization of Islam.
Of course, the topic needed to be addressed, but in our troubled period, heeding Jesus' injunction to "remove the beam from your own eye" first, before trying to "remove the splinter from your neighbor's eye" and leading by example, would have been the wiser course."
By the way, I suggest that you read James Zogby regarding Arab and Muslim issues. I don't know anyone who gets it right as often as he does.