There comes a point when enough is enough. An lapse of discretion has been acknowledged and an apology has been offered - twice.
The following article is from The Star today: apparently the apologies made by Pope Benedict XVI, the first via a press statement, and the second, a personal apology during his public appearance after returning to Italy, are still not enough.
It takes a certain amount of humility and courage to publicly apologize. The pontiff, being in a position such as he is, as head of the Catholic Church, has shown that he has both attributes, which is a lot more than most Malaysian politicians can claim to have.
Some Muslim leaders, it appears, want more. Some want a retraction, and some even more than that. How do you retract something originally said by a medieval Byzantine emperor, but was merely repeated and used (albeit carelessly) to make a point, whose context has now been totally lost in the hysteria that has since enveloped the Islamic world?
Already, much violence has been committed because of these remarks, with churches being firebombed in the Palestinian territories, killing a nun in Somalia, a fatwa calling for the death of Pope Benedict (issued by a Somali cleric), vows of suicide attacks on the Pope...
Are these so-called Muslims trying to prove the Pope's original assertion right?
Part of the bigger picture the Pope the pope was trying to convey was the rejection of violence in the name of religion - not Islam specifically - but any religion. In the ensuing hysteria, the context of the speech, it seems, has been lost.
Some people, it seems, prefer to not see the forest for the trees. And for what? Political mileage, it would appear, more than their love for Islam, a religion that preaches peace and calls for humans to reason, not act without thinking.
Apologies have been offered. Let's move on with life, people.