The Herald notes:~
"Ties were badly soured when the now-retired Benedict made a September 2006 speech in which he was perceived to have linked Islam to violence, sparking deadly protests in several countries and reprisal attacks on Christians."
Oh yes, I remember that. So if someone speaks up and says that it seems that Islam has some strange link to violence Muslims will riot and turn violent. Thus proving the critic.....um, correct. My Muslim friends, this is how some people can get the idea that Islam really isn't a religion of peace. Is it really so outrageous that some draw such a conclusion?
Robert Spencer makes some comments on the Sheikh Al-Azhar and provides some interesting facts on the would-be dialogue partner:~
"Al-Tayeb has shown himself over the years to be anything but a preacher of peace, cooperation and mercy: he has justified anti-Semitism on Qur’anic grounds; called for the Islamic State murderers of the Jordanian pilot to be crucified or have their hands and feet amputated on opposite sides (as per the penalty in Qur’an 5:33 for those who make war against Allah and his messenger or spread “mischief” in the land); and broken off “dialogue” with the Vatican after Pope Benedict XVI dared to criticize the jihad massacre of 21 Christians in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve 2011. Al-Azhar was also revealed to be offering free copies of a book that called for the slaughter of Christians and other Infidels."
So while we may welcome the beginning of a new era of dialogue, we note with some apprehension the nature of the man with whom the Pope will engage in dialogue. We also note that it seems it will be extremely difficult for the Pope to raise the issue of the persecution of Christians under Islamic regimes without risking another suspension of dialogue.
One wonders what other issues are even worth talking about if discussing millions of suffering Christians is verboten. I mean, that’s a pretty major issue we have to ignore there. When are the hard questions going to be put to Al-Tayeb? What kind of "dialogue" is it that only brushes over superficialities? I'd love the Pope to press Al-Tayeb on his University's free book on slaughtering unbelievers, but it's safe to bet that will never happen either.
Meanwhile, how many will die while these two discuss minutiae? How many students will leave Al-Azhar with degrees that lead them to teach a new generation of Muslims to hate the Other? We don’t know and we can’t even talk about it as that might lead to offence.