By William Markiewicz

Why did Pope Benedict make his explosive statement? He must have been aware of how the Islamic world would react. His apology spells humiliation for the Vatican. You donít make an aggressive statement just to follow it with an apology. Letís look for what may cause the Pope's inquietude.

On several occasions the Pope mentioned the weakening of religious interest in the Western world. Simultaneously we witness an unprecedented rebirth for Islam. In the West, freedom, peace, prosperity, disperse collective interests in many directions, a normal process. Only dramatic situations consolidate collective interests in a particular direction. The masses reacted to Communism by gathering around the churches. The rebirth of Islam didn't come by itself, but was encouraged: 1. By Western intervention against Yugoslavia which contributed to growth of Islamís power in Europe. This intervention was totally unjustified as Milosevic mostly desired negotiable separation, as in Czechoslovakia for example. 2. By the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, 3. By Israel's persistence in keeping the Golan Heights, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the West Bank. All of this is more than enough to awake the sleeping giant. The rebirth of Islam in the East coincides with the growth of Islamic communities in Europe, while ancestral Christianity declines. All of this is sufficient to make the Pope uneasy. What could Pope Benedict expect from his charged statement? To awaken the Christian masses? He should rather awaken the Western masses against neocolonialism. The Pope should attack those corrosive neocolonialist politicians instead of the "Islamic sword" which doesn't play a role. If by "Islamic sword" the Pope had terrorism in mind, he should be aware that it will disappear when the West abandons neocolonialist policies. By ignoring this aspect, the Pope only contributes to the growth of Islamic power.

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