Thursday, September 21, 2006

Karen Armstrong's critique of Pope's speech

Britain's ex-Catholic nun Karen Armstrong, a now widely acclaimed commentator on religions in the English-speaking world, has written to UK's Guardian newspaper recently in response to the speech delivered by Pope Benedict XVI in Germany. Ms. Armstrong's position is clearly Islam-friendly. Strangely enough, her bestsellers A History of God and The Battle for God are officially banned in Malaysia. Why?

In the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and continental Europe where Ms. Armstrong has attracted many critics among Christian and Jewish fundamentalists, her books are sold like hot cakes and consumed with intellectual passion, both hostile as well as friendly. There, her critics respond to or debate with her only after, not before, reading her books or writings. Why?

In Malaysia's own regional neighourhood, Karen Armstrong's books are publicly available for sale in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and even Indonesia which houses the largest number of Muslims within a single nation-state on earth. A History of God has even been translated into the Indonesian language as Sejarah Tuhan and offered for sale publicly, including online, just like any other books. Why?

Karen Armstrong on ancient prejudices against Islam

Full text of Pope's original speech delivered in Germany


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