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Carey defends the Pope

I was all set to concoct a posting called something like “Why I am not a Christian – reason number seventeen” ho ho, about how you can’t expect much in the way of a robust defence of Civilisation against Islamic barbarism from people whose basic belief about their enemies is that they should love them, turn the other cheek, etc.

And then (via Instapundit) comes this:

THE former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey of Clifton has issued his own challenge to “violent” Islam in a lecture in which he defends the Pope’s “extraordinarily effective and lucid” speech.

Lord Carey said that Muslims must address “with great urgency” their religion’s association with violence. He made it clear that he believed the “clash of civilisations” endangering the world was not between Islamist extremists and the West, but with Islam as a whole.

Carey even launched a new word, or at any rate one I’ve not heard before: “Westophobia”.

Don’t get me wrong, Carey perpetuates as many clichés as he challenges. For instance:

He said he agreed with his Muslim friends who claimed that true Islam is not a violent religion, …

Perish the thought. But at least …

… he wanted to know why Islam today had become associated with violence. “The Muslim world must address this matter with great urgency,” he said.

Simple, I’d say. The founder of Islam believed strongly in violence, was himself very good at it, and recommended it enthusiastically to his followers. They have obliged, century after century after century.

But still, you can feel the Western brain cells being rubbed together. See also – another example among many – this rather blunter pronouncement along similar lines. And, for a response to all this moderate Muslim guff, see also this recent blog posting from Peter Saint André.

The idea that the West’s response to the Islamic challenge will only ever consist of the first hasty and opposed responses to 9/11, which were entirely what people already thought – “We all ought to get along better”, “We are provoking them”, “They must become more democratic”, and so on – is very foolish. The West – a vague label I know but it will serve – is the most formidable civilisation that the world has yet seen. It has faced down several recent and major challenges to its hegemony, and it will face down this one, I think, with whatever combination of sweet reason and cataclysmic brutality turns out to be necessary to get the job done. This challenge now seems bigger than the earlier ones. But they always do at the time, don’t they?

I cannot find on the internet the full text of Carey’s speech. If it can all be linked to, my apologies for suggesting otherwise, and could someone else please supply a link?. If it cannot be linked to, then, given the incendiary nature of this debate, this is an error that should be speedily corrected. The technology is now in place to spare us from having to rely on journalists to tell us what is in potentially important pronouncements of this sort, and it should be used.

UPDATE: Link to the full Carey speech. Thanks Julian.

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32 comments to Carey defends the Pope

  • Julian Taylor

    Link here for the full transcript of the speech.

    Incidentally I notice that no one seems to have brought up his far more to the point lecture in 2004 – namely his questioning of why Islam is such a violent faith,

    We are presented therefore with a huge puzzle concerning Islam. Why is it associated with violence throughout the world? Is extremism so ineluctably bound up with its faith that we are at last seeing its true character? Or could it be that a fight for the soul of Islam is going on that requires another great faith, Christianity, to support and encourage the vast majority of Muslims who resist this identification of their faith with terrorism?

  • Remember that if a man smiteth you on the cheek, that is an attack on your ego, not your well-being. I associate such a blow with a challenge to a duel. Jesus did not say “If a man stabbeth you in the back, offer up the other shoulder blade” but He did say “He among you who is without a sidearm, let him sell his outer garment that he may buy one” (Luke 22:37).

  • Jso

    turn the other cheek

    Liberal leftists (who will brag LOUDLY that they are atheist) usually quote the turning the other cheek because they think it means that anyone who gets slapped needs to turn to their other cheek every single time they get hit. But the real point of that quote was that you should give an opponent only one second chance to mend his ways before you drop the hammer on his sorry ass, because you will have done everything you can and gone out of your way to appeal to decency by setting him up for his own destruction. Or something.

    That would normally be sound advice but some people use that crap as a way to tell people never to respond to abuse.

  • Chris

    It’s actually Luke 22:36.

    Only pointing it out because I can see someone reading the passage you cite, not looking elsewhere and then trying to call you on it.

  • michael farris

    “But the real point of that quote was that you should give an opponent only one second chance to mend his ways before you drop the hammer on his sorry ass.”


    I’m especially curious about where the phrase ‘his sorry ass’ appears….

  • Something I haven’t seen mentioned in all this wringing of hands about the Pope is his idea of whether Islam can be reformed. Remember last year when among all of Islams apologists there arose such a roar about Pope Benedict stating the problem thusly:

    And immediately the holy father, in his beautiful calm but clear way, said, well, there’s a fundamental problem with that because, he said, in the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it’s an eternal word. It’s not Mohammed’s word. It’s there for eternity the way it is. There’s no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it, whereas in Christianity, and Judaism, the dynamism’s completely different, that God has worked through his creatures [emphasis added].

    I wonder if the Church didn’t realize it needed a strong voice to counter Islam and that drove it to Pope Benedict.

  • Slobodan Perera

    Here is what Elias Canetti, 1981 Nobel for literature, said (In his book, “Crowds and Power”): …Islam is religion of war. How true!

  • Has Lord Carey read his Dante lately?

    “Mahomet in Hell.” Now at gringoman.

  • Kevin B

    I thought it was “If someone smacks your face, moon him… And if that doesn’t work, stick a beam in his eye!”

    But it’s been a while since I studied all that stuff.

  • rds

    ^That’s Luke 22:36. And good point.

  • RAB

    Cardinal Murphy O’Connor has entered the debate
    by opining that Turkey should not be allowed into the EU.
    I have been to Turkey many times and love the people but I tend to agree. I would much prefer if Britain left the EU, but that is another matter.
    Turkey has a young population, and each and every young Turk I have talked to wanted to be somewhere else than Turkey. Alas the general skills level of the Turks is not even up to Polish Plumbers, and I think we have enough Kebab shops to be going on with.
    I am old enough to remember The fall of the Shah in Iran and how fast what was touted as a modern westernised country went fundamentalist bonkers overnight.
    I fear the same may happen in Turkey. If a fundamentalist came to power there.
    I’m afraid I don’t believe in moderate Muslims.
    Moderates just havent worked up enough irrational rage against us yet.
    They will.

  • Sandy P

    You’ve never heard of Westophobia?

    It’s been out there, what would be really entertaining is if during some talking head discussion islamophobia came up Westophobia was the rejoinder? Response.

    What they really don’t realize is that if they want to live like in mo’s time, we can do that. No A/C, no computers, phone, running water, nada.

    During the summer high season.

  • Incognita

    Triticale, that’s actually Luke 22:36 – at least according to the RSV I have at hand.


  • Um, that’s Luke 22:36, T. “But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip: and he that hath not, let him sell his coat and buy a sword.”

  • But still, you can feel the Western brain cells being rubbed together.

    Bravo! Thanks for drawing attention to the good news, as there’s been so little of it for so long.

  • Nick M


    Good points. I was pondering this sort of thing in terms of the likely influx of relatively unskilled labour from the eastward expansion of the EU. There is only so much fruit to be picked and unskilled building labourers needed. And we have the huge problem of Islamic (non) integration. Their kids get more radical, more restive, more unemployed (and frequently unemployable) with the passing generations.

    This is way different from the Indian and Chinese say. Ever noticed the number of Chinese restaurants that have gone over to the buffet model in recent years. I was talking to the owner of one a bit back. She said it’s ‘cos their kids don’t want to wait tables anymore. They want to do law or medicine… That’s integration!

    I just can’t see more muslims in Europe doing anything but fuelling alienation and increasing the size of our Islamic ghettoes.

    What might really turn the moderate Turks against us is the EU imposing human rights which violate their societal norms. Especially out in the sticks where it looks practically medieval. The imams will portray it as a Crusade to recapture Byzantium.

    There are so many other reasons not to have Turkey join…

  • Robert


    I’m especially curious about where the phrase ‘his sorry ass’ appears….

    “And Jesus spake unto him and said: Verily , I will kick thy sorry ass if thou doest not bugger off.
    And they looked upon him and were sore sfraid, and they DID bugger off most promptly”
    Book of Robert, Verses 10-12

  • Nick M

    In a similar vein to this kicking of sorry asses…

    The Gospel According to Sidney

    Recent excavations in the Holy Land have brought to human cognizance this fragment, the only page extant of the Book of Sidney.


    PS. It is a unique philological find as it is the only such parchment written in Geordie

  • triticale,

    You’ve been reading too much Akunin…

    That is one.


  • C .L. Ball

    It’s so obivous that Islam is a religion of violence because terrorists espouse it and justify their violence in its name. It’s not like some Christians go around bombing abortion clinics or shooting doctors in the US or forming some kind of Lord’s Resistance Army to massacre and mutilate in Uganda. And you don’t see Hindus blowing themselves or others up in India or Sri Lanka. Oh, wait. Never mind.

  • Gabriel

    The LRA is funded exclusively by Sudan and is not recognised as christian by any christian church.

  • “And Jesus spake unto him and said: Verily , I will kick thy sorry ass if thou doest not bugger off.
    And they looked upon him and were sore sfraid, and they DID bugger off most promptly”
    Book of Robert, Verses 10-12

    Amen brother!

  • C.L. —

    I am well aware of the history of violence against abortion clinics because I used to volunteer for clinic defense here in the US. I’ve been face-to-face with yelling-and-screaming religious nuts who were dedicated to the destruction of that particular freedom and many others. I consider the Christian Right’s agenda very dangerous. Nevertheless, it needs to be recognized that actual violence by radical Christians is quite rare. Clinic bombings and killings of doctors or defense people are appalling, but there have actually been very few such cases. And few mainstream Christian religious figures or organizations endorse such violence. The same is true of other issues like birth control, homosexuality, movies the Christian Right objects to, and so forth. The Christian protests are intimidating and sometimes threatening, and there’s a real danger of anti-freedom policies being enacted by legislation, but they don’t kill people, nor do their mainstream organizations justify killing people.

    It pains me to defend them, but in this respect, they aren’t like the Islamists. The Islamists’ use and justification of violence is unique among major religions in the modern world. That needs to be acknowledged.

    (Hey Perry, thanks for the link.)

  • lucklucky

    I dont care about status squo Muslim Moderates. I care about Muslim Reformists. But they are seldom to be seen.

  • Nick M

    Sorry guys,
    I have now realised the link I posted was completely irrelevant. A cut and paste malfunction and my fault…

  • Nick M


    Status Quo muslims…

    Stoning All Over The World

  • Nate


    Thanks for the laugh. 😉

  • I’m especially curious about where the phrase ‘his sorry ass’ appears….

    That was the one whose jawbone Samson used as a weapon with which to slay the Philistines…

    Yes, I was wrong about the verse number, which I dredged up from memory, the seme memory which has to carry lots of GSM related numbers like channels and sector IDs right now.

    Having gotten one citation wrong, I doublechecked on Samson with my wee wifey, the Christian in the household. She said to point out that in the Bible, peace is active. You have to make peace, it doesn’t just happen.

  • Styner

    She said to point out that in the Bible, peace is active.

    Yeah. Nuke ’em. A lot. What follows is peace.

  • Trofim

    Islam is a religion of violence . . .

    and the religion of threat, par excellence. Every time some Muslim spokesman urges an apology, backtrack, reconsideration of one’s words and so on, it is always with the knowledge that out in the “Muslim world”, he has thousands, millions of Muslim footsoldiers, who are willing and ready to torch churches, increase persecution of non-muslims, kill them. This is particularly the case when it comes to Christians. But said Muslim spokesman also knows that no-one can point to any tangible link between him and the aforementioned footsoldiers. A Muslim threatener knows that we know this, and can do nothing about it. I’m sure it must augment their feeling of power.

    Incidentally, Ian Buruma (who now seems to have backtracked somewhat in his latest writings) coined the term “Occidentalism”, but “westophobia” is more immediate and comprehensible to the man in the street, and I would like to see it encouraged.

  • Gabriel

    Occidentalism is better in an intellectual context because it mirrors Orientialism, the favourite buzzword of the post-colonialist Left.
    His account of how most of the *ideas* of Islamists are ripped straight out of western, mostly German, reactionaries, romantics and Communists is very persuasive and makes us remember that the threat is not a fundamentally different one to those of the 20th century. Same old shit, just in a shiny new turban.