Saturday, September 30, 2006

Islamic fear

A French high school teacher, Robert Redeker, 52, wrote an article in the center-right daily Le Figaro on September 19, 2006. Entitled 'What should the free world do while facing Islamist intimidation?', it had a short life, as is the way with these things. It was pulled down from the website the day after, and the editor of Le Figaro, Pierre Rousselin, then went on al-Jazeera to utter a craven apology. Redeker is now in hiding.

In the article, he likens Islam to Communism.

It prides itself on a legitimacy which troubles Western conscience, which is attentive to others: it claims to be the voice of the oppressed of the planet. Yesterday, the voice of the poor supposedly came from Moscow, today it originates in Mecca! Again, today, western intellectuals incarnate the eye of the Koran, as they have incarnated the eye of Moscow. They now excommunicate people because of Islamophobia, as they did before because of anti-communism.
He contrasts Christianity and Islam according to their founding values.
But what differentiates Christianity from Islam is obvious: it is always possible to go back to true evangelical values, the peaceful character of Jesus as opposed to the deviations of the Church.

None of the faults of the Church have their roots in the Gospel. Jesus is non-violent. Going back to Jesus is akin to forswear the excesses of the Church. Going back to Mahomet, to the conbtrary, reinforces hate and violence. Jesus is a master of love, Mahomet is a master of hatred.
More than this, it is his description of Mohammed that has been the lightening rod for the usual storm of threats and fury.
A merciless war chief, plunderer, slaughterer of Jews and a polygamist, such is the man revealed through the Koran.
Redeker describes his current situation in a letter to André Glucksmann
I am now in a catastrophic personal situation. Several death threats have been sent to me, and I have been sentenced to death by organizations of the al-Qaeda movement. [...] On the websites condemning me to death there is a map showing how to get to my house to kill me, they have my photo, the places where I work, the telephone numbers, and the death fatwa. [...] There is no safe place for me, I have to beg, two evenings here, two evenings there. [...] I am under the constant protection of the police. I must cancel all scheduled conferences. And the authorities urge me to keep moving. [...] All costs are at my own expense, including those of rents a month or two ahead, the costs of moving twice, legal expenses, etc.

It's quite sad. I exercised my constitutional rights, and I am punished for it, even in the territory of the Republic. This affair is also an attack against national sovereignty – foreign rules, decided by criminally minded fanatics, punish me for having exercised a constitutional right, and I am subjected, even in France, to great injury.
Michelle Malkin has a complete translation of Redeker's article plus one of an article by the German historian Egon Flaig, published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Saturday the 16th of September. This last, a history of Islamic war and (in)tolerance, is fascinating reading; it is more scholarly, measured, but in the end, more condemning than Redeker's.

A summary from signandsight
Ancient historian Egon Flaig sees the Pope's speech in Regensburg as a justified reference to the martial-imperialist strains in Islam and gives historical precedent for his argument. "Since the beginning of the classical world between the ninth and the eleventh centuries Islamic jurists have divided the world into the "House of Islam" and the "House of War". This division is not dependent on where large numbers of Muslims live, or even represent the majority, but is made according to where Islam rules, in the form of Sharia, and where it does not rule. This dichotomy is therefore not religious but political. And war will reign between these two parts of the world until the House of War no longer exists and Islam rules over the world. (Verse 8, 39 and 9, 41)."
Several thousand miles away, the same forces are at work, though this time they have a legal system behind them. In Dhaka, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, a Bangladeshi Muslim journalist, is to go on trial for sedition, the punishment for which is death. His most heinous crime is that he wrote and published articles that were not only critical of Muslim extremism, but favourable to Israel, a state that Bangladesh does not recognise. He compounded this by accepting an invitation to speak in the above-mentioned unrecognised entity. He did not get there.

(via Michelle Malkin)

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