Sunday, September 17, 2006

Putting it all together

A Muslim demonstrating against the Pope's speechMore than anything else, the photograph tells you all… the face of Islam as it protests against the imagined slight from the Pope, heedless of the fact that no offence was intended or in fact given.

Now, we are told, the Pope has apologised although, as my colleague indicates, the words used hardly convey any regret. And nor should they.

In fact, the last thing the Pope should do is apologise – there has been far too much apologising of late. It is about time the Western world recognised that, when you are dealing with figures such as the one pictured above – face contorted with hate – you do not apologise.

You send them a signal that affirms your own rights and values. If that hatred then turns to violence which threatens our own wellbeing – as it has done – you respond first with counter-threats and then, if the violence does not end, you kill those responsible for it. This is the way it has always been. To pretend otherwise is to ignore history – and the consequences of submission.

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