Oct 6, 2006 3:59 pm


The September 28 edition of France 2 news includes a report entitled"Tribune sur l'islam: menaces contre un professeur de philosophie" about a 52 year old that secondary school Philosophy teacher, Robert Redeker, and his family went into hiding a week ago after receiving email death threats the police considers serious. Some even talk about Fatwa. His home is under police protection. This is the result of an op-ed he published in Le Figaro. Expatica writes:

Under the heading"In the face of Islamist intimidation, what must the free world do?", Redeker described the Koran as a"book of extraordinary violence" and Islam as"a religion which ... exalts violence and hate".

Hundreds protest in Paris over Prophet cartoons Should this post with a picture of the Prophet Mohammed? Likening Islam to Communism, he said that"violence and intimidation are the methods used by an expansionist ideology ... to impose its leaden cloak on the world".

He also argued that Muslim response to Pope Benedict's academic exposition demonstrated that they wish to limit Western freedom of speech.

When asked whether he was sorry he published the article he says no. His classes are taught by a substitute teacher.

Francis Morel, the editor of Le Figaropublished today an editorial asserting that the paper accommodate in its columns a wide variety of view on controversial subjects and that it is its role to do so. Morel concluded forcefully:

To understand our world, to form an opinion, it is also necessary to know to look at those which live differently and to listen to those which think differently. We thus condemn with greatest firmness the serious attacks to freedom to think and the freedom of expression that this business caused.

Tunisia already blocked the sale of the paper carrying the article. It did the same during the Danish cartoon upheavals. The authorities are probably worried that it may cause public demonstrations.

I suspect that this has just begun. Where will this end?

Michelle Malkin picked up the story and is running with it here and here. Her material includes a letter from Redeker as well as a translation of his article. The letter says:

“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.”

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