A Bavarian Provocation
A GREAT PIECE
By TARIQ ALI
"I think he knew what he was saying and why. Choosing a quote from Manuel II Paleologos, not the most intelligent of the Byzantine rulers, was somewhat disingenuous, especially on the eve of a visit to Turkey.
The Muslim world with two of its countries---Iraq and Afghanistan-- directly occupied by Western troops does not need to be reminded of the language of the Crusades.
It was the Catholic Church that declared War on Islam in the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily. Mass expulsions, killings, forced conversions and a vicious Inquisition to police the cleansed Europe and the reformist Protestant enemy. Jews and Protestants alike were granted refuge by the Ottoman Empire, a refuge they would have been denied had Istanbul remained Constantinople.
'Slaves, obey your human masters.For Christ is the real master you serve' said Paul (Colossians 3: 22-24) in establishing a collaborationist tradition which fell on its knees before wealth and power and which reached its apogee during the Second World War where the leadership of the Church collaborated with fascism and did not speak up against the judeocide or the butchery on the Eastern Front. Islam does not need pacifist lessons from this Church.
Not all Christians joined in the crusades old and new. When Pope Urban launched the crusades the Norman king of Sicily refused to send troops in which Sicilian Muslims would be compelled to fight against Muslims in the East. His son, Roger II, refused to back the Second Crusade. In doing so they showed more courage than the leaders of contemporary Italy, who are only too willing to join the imperial crusades against the Muslim world.
'To make sure of being right in all things', said the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, 'we ought always to hold to the principle that the white I see I should believe to be black if the hierarchical church were so to rule.'
Today most Catholic prelates in the West (including the Bavarian in the Vatican) and politicians of Centre-Left/Right worship the real Pope who lives in the White House and tells them when black is white.