Well...

An interesting rebuttal.

I'm not inclined to believe the Pope should apologize. Frankly, I think we are better off if this outrage gets to spend itself and the Middle East becomes used to highly placed but untactful people. Part of me believes that the rise of terrorism is the result of the rise of mass media and subscribes partially to the thesis that it is the influx of Western culture that is driving terrorism. Access to the Western world has exposed the Middle East to exterior cultures in an unprecedented way. I cannot help but believe that the Middle East is slowly learning a lesson: some people do not care about (or are openly hostile to) your feelings, your religions or your lives and the only recourse you really have is to ignore them.

Was the Pope trolling? Almost certainly: he knew precisely what kind of reaction his comments would provoke and knew that the reaction would seem to justify those comments. My lowered estimation of the Pope, however, does not put me in agreement with the Arab street. Sadly, what would be an eyerolling affair if it played out on the Internet becomes dangerous and serious business in the real world.

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