Papal Foolishness

The Pope is irrelevant. Most Catholics don’t listen to him and neither should Muslims. Simple.

Apologies don’t mean much especially because more often than not, the person offering it was coerced into it and isn’t really sorry.

I wrote an email to our Information Systems Manager at work detailing my complaints about some work he did and he got all huffed and puffed and wrote to my director saying that I was rude and curt with him.

I didn’t feel that I had been rude but my immediate supervisor said that I had to apologize to him. I wasn’t sorry and couldn’t bring myself to use the word “apologize”.

My email:

It has been brought to my attention that you were offended by one of my emails to you last week. I accept that my choice of words may have been received negatively. I regret if the tone of my email caused you any distress since that was not my intention…

Then, I read the words of Benjamin Disraeli:

Never apologize for showing emotion. When you do so you are apologizing for truth.

I couldn’t agree more.

Jaafar Idris on the Papal Controversy 


  1. Nice quote by Disraeli. I have a couple of his quotes saved in my quotes collection.

    I also agree: the pope is irrelevant. Even non-Muslims have come out against his comments.

    I didn’t like him from the start. While visiting a holocaust camp, he mentioned that he wasn’t sure of God’s existence.

    Hmmm…I wonder why exactly he is a pope if he is not sure about God. This is probably just a power thing.

  2. Irrelevant? Is that nice, tolerant, understanding? I’m surprised at you.

    Most Catholics don’t listen? More than don’t, actually. Listen to everything he says, and adhere to it? No, there you’d be right. But not listen at all? Nope, sorry, you’re off base.

    Should Muslims listen to what the Pope says? Gee, I don’t know. Should Catholics pay any attention to Muslim teaching and thought? I would have guessed that the answer would be yes, and equally so in the other direction. Not at least *knowing* whats being said, broadly, is part of what lead us to the state we’re in now.

    I think you were right in your email.

  3. I suppose I disagree. Though I won’t say an apology from the pope will necessarily be genuine, at least he has to realize that he offended people even when he thinks he didn’t. Maybe it will keep him on his toes next time.

    But you have to be serious about this. The pope is a religious figrue. Regardless of if people really “obey” what the Pope says, he still has authority. And for him to make ignorant comments like that is just wrong. What if I quote some Muslims during the Crusades about just how barabaric the Christian faith is. That would be wrong. But I have no authority. Now imagine if somehow I was the head of all Muslims around the world, or rather represented them. The “amount” of wrong would be the same if not more because my effect is greater seeing that my audience is larger. And if he wants amicable relations with Muslims it would behoove the Pope not to offend us.

  4. CeruleanBill,

    As for “nice, tolerant, and understanding”, one of the reasons I created this blog was to organize and express my opinions freely and not to impress others or to hope they think favorably of me. I’m not running for elected office and I’m not advocating disrespect or violence so I don’t know what it is you were expecting from me unless it is to not express a view contrary to your own.

    I recognize your point that we need mutual understanding. I don’t think most people who were not in attendance at the speech given by the Pope would have paid any attention to it had it not been for those controversial remarks. Real understanding and mutual respect does not come from academic speeches but from more tangible and practical actions. Hence we see that although every single major Muslim scholar and organization has condemned terrorism we keep hearing the oft-repeated refrain why haven’t Muslims come out in the streets and on tv, etc. and denounced those actions.

    My main point is that the Pope’s influence has waned dramatically over the decades so much so that many Catholics no longer abide by Papal edicts or teachings. So Muslims should not make this big hoopla and certainly not violence over his comments because although he is the figurehead of the Catholic Church, he is only one voice in the larger Christian community.

  5. I agree Munzareen that it is important that the Pope or any other public official like Senator George Allen know that as public officials they have a responsibility to choose their words carefully.

    What I don’t like are knee-jerk reactions to any comment or situation in which someone takes offense. There has to be a better and more reasoned way to respond to offensive remarks like the boycott of Danish products was a good idea but the torching of the embassies was wrong. Expressing outrage is ok but attacking churches is not.

    I guess I was just expressing two thoughts in my mind:

    1. If the Pope is that dense to not know that his comments would be interpreted negatively he is really out of touch and needs to educate himself and get new advisors or speech writers.

    2. Muslims need to respond in a reasonable fashion to offensive comments.

  6. No I agree with that. You’re right even when Muslims denounce terrorism, no one hears it. Words fall upon deaf ears.

    I kinda want to throw something at someone though when Muslims are talking about revenge. Chill out. Express your discontent but stop before doing things that are un-Islamic. They make it seem like Islam is evil. It’s not and we unfortunately aren’t following it correctly. Did you hear about Imam Zaid Shakir’s response?

  7. Yeah, I downloaded and listened to Zaid Shakir’s excellent response and am excited that in sha Allah, he and Hamza Yusuf will be in our area for some fundraisers and lectures in early October. I always like to hear them speak.

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