The "logic" of the Pope's attackers is to humiliate and punish with the threat and use of violence anyone who dares to suggest a link between Islam and violence, while still insisting that Islam is a religion of peace.
It's a similar technique to the one used in Communist states. Theodore Dalrymple wrote:
In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
From a Little Green Footballs comment thread: