Various and sundry Muslims are in a tizzy about Benedict’s treatment of violence, Islam, and logos (that is, reason in faith). But the content of the Pope’s discussion has won positive reviews from people as far apart doctrinally as paleocons and A. Sullivan.
It all suggests in heavy tones that there’s a real issue here, and the scattershot offended reactions coming out of places like Turkey and Lebanon and from organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood reflect a general confusion over the danger of freely and frankly discussing identity today. Benedict’s words are felt by turns to be insulting, dangerous, Crusaderist — or so it would seem if you take the content of the backlash at face value. Don’t. Here’s my take on why.