Jospin Is Cautious
Socialist leader and former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has defended the Pope:
Should he apologize? I don't think so. It is paradoxical that some of those who demand an apology in one breath are those who, in the next breath, make threats and find it legitimate to use Islam in the name of violence. One should not apologize before such people, even if angering Muslims is something that must be avoided.
As with the bishop of Lourdes, Jospin's statement is welcome, but not entirely satisfactory. First, there is nothing paradoxical about the use of violence in Islam. It is their usual response to any criticism. Second, he implies that Islam is being "used". This is comparable to Bush's notion that a great religion was "highjacked". Finally, he concedes that we must avoid angering Muslims (if we can).
A reminder that Lionel Jospin was stoned by Palestinians in 2000 when he visited the Middle East and dared to denounce Hezbollah's terrorist attacks on Israel.