Over at Suzanne's blog, I read that several Muslim scholars are embracing Pope Benedict's call for honest, religious dialogue. With all the nonsense that has followed the Regensburg Moment, it is refreshing to find sources capable of critical and open discussion, especially admist all the strife and extremism dominant in much of Islamic society today.
So how about our West?
Aside from a few sensible men and women working in the popular media, most commentary has been contra the Pope's Regensburg message; in fact most commentary has been reactive, incoherent, and often vicious. Fr. Neuhaus at First Things notes the commentary follows the established norms: When a Catholic makes a Catholic statement, attack him because of his Catholicism. Intrinsic to this norm is the idea that for honest discussion to occur, one must rid themselves of any idea that one's own position is superior, or even simply 'more correct' than the other's. To be honest, it doesn't strictly apply to Catholics, but it tends only to be exercised when the Catholic position on any given issue is publicly stated.
Tersely stated, there are a lot of problems when two participants in a conversation pretend their, for instance, own epistemological and ontological differences do not exist. I need not delve into example to illustrate this, but you can imagine how effective a Supreme Court Council would be if each judge 'rid themselves' of their normative understandings whilst making a conciliar judgement.