Pope Benedict, Democracy, Human Rights and Islam
The Libyan League for Human Rights, a non-sectarian NGO that is only concerned with the promotion of Human rights and democracy in Libya and elsewhere, deplores the unnecessary derogatory remarks of Pope Benedict on Islam and the prophet Mohamed. Those remarks are all the more regrettable, as they came from such an influential, moral personality as the Pope whom the world looks up to as the first person who supports the calls of all peoples, regardless of their religious beliefs. We regret the Pope’s failure to emphasize the similarities, not the differences, between people and religions. We also regret his lack of compassion and understanding towards Muslims whom he provoked by saying that their prophet has brought nothing but evil.
The LLHR is afraid that the Pope’s remarks will enhance the danger of spreading acrimony among religions and will stir up violence not only among Muslims, but also between Muslims and non-Muslims in a region that is already engulfed by violence undertaken by Christian powers – sometimes under the pretext of erasing “Muslim fascism” and of “spreading democracy” on other occasions. In terms of Democracy, the League is also afraid that the Pope’s remarks can have a long lasting negative impact on reforms and democracy in our region similar to the one that has brought to Iraq, since its invasion by Christian powers in March 2003, devastation destruction and havoc.
What the League is certain of is that interventions such as the one the Pope just made, the Danish cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, the military interventions and occupations (Lebanon and Iraq) are not the remedy for Democracy in our region, but rather its major disease. Each time this disease strikes, its first victim is Democracy, which regresses back to its original starting point. Democracy in our region would have been better off had these and other unwarranted foreign interventions (mainly from Christian countries) in the domestic affairs of the region had not occurred. Let us all hope that the Pope’s remarks will not widen the gap between Muslims and Christians and that the many rational and responsible people from the two religions succeed in bridging and steering the world away from extremists, including US Neo-Cons, that give no place to either Democracy or respect for Human rights.
17 September 2006