Commentary: Pope’s remarks should be saluted, not chastised

In a letter written by Charity Watkins published Sept. 20, Ms. Watkins chastised Pope Benedict XVI for stating the truth about Muslim terrorism. Her remarks were beyond my comprehension. As a graduate of the Class of 1957, a long time donor and supporter of Northeastern, it bothers me that our young people don’t think about what is truly happening in this world. For some reason, this student doesn’t recognize that terrorism emanates from “radical Islam,” and not from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion. Muslims become offended at the slightest thing, whether it is a cartoon, book, movie or statement.

Their reaction to the Pope’s comments is a perfect example of this: they became violent, which is a typical Muslim response. Dialogue does not seem to be in their agenda.

Does Ms. Watkins ask herself if anyone can practice “freedom of religion” in any Muslim country? If women have rights in Muslim countries? If gays and lesbians are protected in these Muslim countries? Does she ask herself why only Muslims riot and kill when their feelings are hurt? Where is Ms. Watkins when the Pope’s life is threatened or when Muslims attack churches or kill nuns only because their “feelings are hurt?” Did the Christian world riot and kill when the Pope was threatened or their churches were attacked by radical Muslims? Did the Jewish world riot and kill when they were insulted and called sons of monkeys and pigs or when Iran said they must be wiped out? Are Christian or Jewish children taught by their elders to become martyrs so they can kill innocent people by blowing themselves up in civilian areas? Why is everything so one-sided?

Muslims can say anything they want and that’s all right; but the minute anyone says anything against Islam, they get to riot and that’s all right?

The Pope had a great opportunity to preach the truth to the world about “radical Islam” to awaken people to this terrible threat to our religions, our freedom and civilization. It’s too bad that he held back. However, I do salute him for refusing to apologize for stating some truth.

– Irving Levine graduated in 1957 with a civil engineering degree. He is the namesake for Levine Marketplace.

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