PARIS – Masked, military trained gunmen in heavy bullet proof military garb, expertly using fully automatic Kalashnikovs, burst into the Paris offices of a French satirical newspaper on Wednesday and methodically killed 12 people, including top journalists and two police officers, before fleeing in cars. The gunmen are still at large 12 hours later, as police operations extended all over a traumatized France.
The French president declared that several mass terrorist attacks were blocked in the last few weeks.
[Dialogue:”Je vais le tuer!”. ”C’est bon chef!”. “I’m going to kill him!” says one terrorist, and, as the other covered the street with its AK-47:”It’s good, chief!”. meaning all is clear, I’m covering you. They were obviously highly trained.]
Five very famous cartoonists and authors were killed. Among their countless satirical activities, they had lampooned Islamic terrorists and the Prophet Muhammad. The gunmen screamed various Islamist slogans:
“Allah Akbar! On a venge’ le prophet Mahomet! On a tue’ CharlieHebdo! (“We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo!”).
Apparently one journalist, facing the muzzle of an AK-47, was spared by a blue eyed assassin, when she recited verses from the Qur’an.
An hour earlier, Charlie Hebdo had published a (quite innocent) cartoon on the Islamist State, where the founder was represented, wishing a happy new year, and good health.
A few weeks ago, the magazine “The Economist“, to which I have been a subscriber for many years, wrote an article on radical Islam. “The Economist” pontificated that “Islam” had nothing in common with “radical Islam”.
Salman Rushdie produced a statement, originally posted on English Pen:
“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”
Rushdie had been condemned to death by Ayatollah Khomeini, and was protected for years by Western Secret Services. His crime? He had called attention to the “Satanic Verses”. This was a part of the Qur’an which was deemed “Satanic”, generations after it was published. (The passage mentioned too favorably the old Moon-centered polytheist religion of Mecca. So a later “Caliph”, or religious dictator, had it removed.)
I begged to differ with the good Islam/Bad Radicals of The Economist. I wrote a comment which consisted in four verses from the (official Saudi Arabian translation) of the Qur’an. “The Economist” removed it, and sent an email threatening to ban me forever.
The question then is this: if mainstream media censors “the Qur’an”, while bemoaning “Islamophobia”, is not that a contradiction? And why this contradiction?
Radical Christianism was dealt with during the Enlightenment: it was stridently pointed out that it was highly immoral, and illegal to implement all what was in the Bible. Yet, nobody accused the “Enlightenment” of “Christianophobia”.
Christianism and Islamism are closely related religions: they both derived from Judaism, and the former contains lethal statements, later duplicated in the sacred texts of Islam. Around 400 CE, the so-called “Founding Fathers” of the Church admitted that the Bible was not to be taken literally.
By contrast, around 850CE, the Caliph decided, under the threat of death that the Qur’an ought to be interpreted literally.
This is all the more striking that a war about the Qur’an, started immediately after the Qur’an was written by another Caliph, 20 years after Muhammad’s death. This war is still going on, all over the Middle East (between Shiah, Suni, Druze, Kurds, and all of the 100 sects of Islam).
Muhammad, the Prophet, or “Messenger” himself had broad, open, progressive, anti-sexist views (we know this from his life). Muhammad was made to understand that his wife Aisha was sleeping around. He shrugged. As if it were her business: a very modern attitude.
The progressive attitude of Muhammad was grotesquely trampled when Uthman’s Qur’an was written, said Aisha, Muhammad child bride. She led a war against what she viewed as a travesty of Muhammad’s message (and unfortunately she lost the “Battle of the Camel”).
Solution? No more tolerance for intolerance.
(And no, I don’t hate “Muslims” on a personal basis: I spent most of my babyhood, childhood and youth surrounded by very nice Sufi Muslims. And to this day, the people watching over my 5 year old daughter the most, are, you guessed it. “Muslim” friends. And they were not spared my observations about Abraham.)
The ideology in the Qur’an, as it is, fosters lethal terror and intolerance. For a full version:
This has to be addressed, as it was addressed with the (related) Nazi ideology. The Qur’an, a short book, has more than 109 context-free passages calling for deadly violence, as deadly violence was an intrinsic good. Here is the first such verses of lethal violence in the second Sura of the Qur’an.
Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief] is worse than killing. but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”
The failure to address this since Voltaire, has caused much mayhem.