Exiled in France

Here is a cry for help from French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker, now in hiding from Islamofascist death threats.  In a letter written to his friend philosopher André Glucksmann, Redeker writes:

Dear André,

I am now in a catastrophic personal situation. Many very precise death threats have been addressed to me, and I was condemned to death by associates of Al—Qaïda.    The (French security services) have helped somewhat, but... I no longer have a right to my own home. On the websites condemning me to death there is a map showing how to get to my house to kill me, my photo, the places where I work, the telephone numbers, and the death sentence.    But at the same time the authorities do not provide me a place, I am obliged to wander, two evenings here, two evenings there... I am under permanent police protection. I must cancel all my planned conferences. And the authorities make me move on. I am a displaced person. It all leads to a lunatic financial situation, I have to pay all the expenses including rental for a month or two in distant places, moving costs, notary expenses, etc.  ...    It is quite sad. I exercised a constitutional law (to free speech), and I am punished for it, even on the territory of the Republic. This business is also an attack against national sovereignty: foreign laws, decided by criminal fanatics, punish me to for exercising a French constitutional right, and I am suffering great damage even in France.

In friendship,

Robert Redeker

The French conservative daily Le Figaro showed considerable courage by publishing Redeker's critique of Mohammed and the Koran. After the death threats, the paper also published a frontpage editorial declaring:

'We condemn as resolutely as possible the serious attack on the freedom of thought and the freedom of speech that this affair has provoked.'

France may be waking up ——— slowly and very reluctantly. However, if truth—tellers are going to be forced into hiding, there is still something very wrong with the French Republic and its governing elites. Redeker only received tepid support from his boss,

Gilles de Robien, education minister, who declared his 'solidarity' with Mr Redeker, but argued that 'a public employee should be prudent and moderate in all circumstances.'

 

Well, Redeker was not "moderate" but he was truthful. Here is what he wrote in Le Figaro: under the title, 'Faced with Islamic intimidation, what should the free world do?'  Here is how he describes the traditional picture of Mohammed.

'Pitiless war leader, pillager, butcher of Jews and polygamous (people), this is how Mohammed is revealed by the Koran.'"

That may seem pretty tough, but it is no worse than the last two centuries of  open French  criticism of Christianity and Judaism.  Over the long term anti—clericalism made religious establishments more self—critical.  Christian churches have finally erased their overt anti—Semitism and nationalist fervor.  The Catholic Church has dropped its absurd condemnation of Galileo.  All human institutions are fallible; all can profit from  reasoned criticism.

Islam's affinity for violence has changed little since the 7th century, because it declared itself immune from criticism, and enforced it with the sword. The question is just what Robert Redeker asked, 'Faced with Islamic intimidation, what should the free world do?'  One thing we cannot  afford to do is give in. The results would be disastrous for us and for Muslims as well ——— who are also under the threat of the sword.

Violence is part of all scriptures, because it is part of virtually all cultures. As traditional religions developed over many centuries, they  generally left that part behind. Most Christians are not enamored of the saying attributed to Jesus that "I bring you not peace but a sword." No modern Jews celebrate the Biblical battle of Jericho, with its bloody aftermath. Hindus may revere the Bhagavat—Gita, but not many take Arjuna's advice to fight and kill one's cousins, as long as it is done without  mental attachment to the outcome.

Only Islam still clings to a past of violent confrontation with non—Muslims. But there is a vast body if reinterpretation of the Koran, and there must be Muslims who ignore the bloodier passages and elevate the more peaceful ones.  It doesn't have to be done officially by some  version of Vatican II. Most traditions change more subtly.

But until a reborn Islam places a firm taboo on violence on behalf of religion, modern people will rightly be suspicious and take their precautions. That is a good thing, because that is the only way a more peaceful Islam will evolve.  Cultures clash all the time; it's just a question of  the outcome.

We need many more Robert Redekers in France and  elsewhere, to keep challenging Islamist threats. Hopefully they will receive a much more robust and united defense as the West comes to its senses.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

James Lewis   9 30 06

Here is a cry for help from French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker, now in hiding from Islamofascist death threats.  In a letter written to his friend philosopher André Glucksmann, Redeker writes:

Dear André,

I am now in a catastrophic personal situation. Many very precise death threats have been addressed to me, and I was condemned to death by associates of Al—Qaïda.    The (French security services) have helped somewhat, but... I no longer have a right to my own home. On the websites condemning me to death there is a map showing how to get to my house to kill me, my photo, the places where I work, the telephone numbers, and the death sentence.    But at the same time the authorities do not provide me a place, I am obliged to wander, two evenings here, two evenings there... I am under permanent police protection. I must cancel all my planned conferences. And the authorities make me move on. I am a displaced person. It all leads to a lunatic financial situation, I have to pay all the expenses including rental for a month or two in distant places, moving costs, notary expenses, etc.  ...    It is quite sad. I exercised a constitutional law (to free speech), and I am punished for it, even on the territory of the Republic. This business is also an attack against national sovereignty: foreign laws, decided by criminal fanatics, punish me to for exercising a French constitutional right, and I am suffering great damage even in France.

In friendship,

Robert Redeker

The French conservative daily Le Figaro showed considerable courage by publishing Redeker's critique of Mohammed and the Koran. After the death threats, the paper also published a frontpage editorial declaring:

'We condemn as resolutely as possible the serious attack on the freedom of thought and the freedom of speech that this affair has provoked.'

France may be waking up ——— slowly and very reluctantly. However, if truth—tellers are going to be forced into hiding, there is still something very wrong with the French Republic and its governing elites. Redeker only received tepid support from his boss,

Gilles de Robien, education minister, who declared his 'solidarity' with Mr Redeker, but argued that 'a public employee should be prudent and moderate in all circumstances.'

 

Well, Redeker was not "moderate" but he was truthful. Here is what he wrote in Le Figaro: under the title, 'Faced with Islamic intimidation, what should the free world do?'  Here is how he describes the traditional picture of Mohammed.

'Pitiless war leader, pillager, butcher of Jews and polygamous (people), this is how Mohammed is revealed by the Koran.'"

That may seem pretty tough, but it is no worse than the last two centuries of  open French  criticism of Christianity and Judaism.  Over the long term anti—clericalism made religious establishments more self—critical.  Christian churches have finally erased their overt anti—Semitism and nationalist fervor.  The Catholic Church has dropped its absurd condemnation of Galileo.  All human institutions are fallible; all can profit from  reasoned criticism.

Islam's affinity for violence has changed little since the 7th century, because it declared itself immune from criticism, and enforced it with the sword. The question is just what Robert Redeker asked, 'Faced with Islamic intimidation, what should the free world do?'  One thing we cannot  afford to do is give in. The results would be disastrous for us and for Muslims as well ——— who are also under the threat of the sword.

Violence is part of all scriptures, because it is part of virtually all cultures. As traditional religions developed over many centuries, they  generally left that part behind. Most Christians are not enamored of the saying attributed to Jesus that "I bring you not peace but a sword." No modern Jews celebrate the Biblical battle of Jericho, with its bloody aftermath. Hindus may revere the Bhagavat—Gita, but not many take Arjuna's advice to fight and kill one's cousins, as long as it is done without  mental attachment to the outcome.

Only Islam still clings to a past of violent confrontation with non—Muslims. But there is a vast body if reinterpretation of the Koran, and there must be Muslims who ignore the bloodier passages and elevate the more peaceful ones.  It doesn't have to be done officially by some  version of Vatican II. Most traditions change more subtly.

But until a reborn Islam places a firm taboo on violence on behalf of religion, modern people will rightly be suspicious and take their precautions. That is a good thing, because that is the only way a more peaceful Islam will evolve.  Cultures clash all the time; it's just a question of  the outcome.

We need many more Robert Redekers in France and  elsewhere, to keep challenging Islamist threats. Hopefully they will receive a much more robust and united defense as the West comes to its senses.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

James Lewis   9 30 06