The media’s double standard on discussing Islam’s problem with violence is preventing the public discussion that could help reduce it.
After Islamic terrorists invade a newspaper office and murder 12 people, the first reaction from impartial observers should most assuredly not be to condemn Catholics for the Spanish Inquisition.
Yet this is the disgusting and ahistorical message many liberal advocates of moral equivalence shared on social media. Remember that Christians have been violent, too, in the name of religion, and don’t say anything bad about Islam. Jon Harmon, the legislative director for Cincinnati Council member Chris Seelbach, tweeted, in an attack on CNN anchor Don Lemon, “Embarrassing. Will @donlemon ask Catholics if they support molester priests or the Spanish Inquisition?”
We don’t have to ask. The Catholic Church years ago apologized for the Spanish Inquisition. On March 12, 2000, Pope John Paul II said, “We are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood.” In fact, Pope John Paul II apologized for a number of things during his papacy, including the crusades and the imprisonment of Galileo.
The apology doesn’t take away from the brutality of the act, but at least it acknowledges wrongdoing. What does the Inquisition have to do with the attack on Charlie Hebdo? Nothing, specifically, unless you consider how the actions of Islamic terrorist groups today such as the Islamic State are as vicious or worse than the Inquisition.
Why Is Islam Exempt from Criticism?