The article that may cost a man his life, and that of his family

As I posted yesterday, Robert Redeker, a French 52-yr old philosophy professor, wrote an op-ed article in Le Figaro stating that Islam is violent, and denounced the violence in the Koran.

After receiving several death threats in the mail, Prof. Redeker and his family have had to go into hiding. The police are taking the threats very seriously and are keeping watch of his now vacant home.

I couldn’t find the article in the Le Figaro internet version, but it is available at Judeoscope.

UPDATE, Saturday September 30 I had quickly translated the first paragraph from the Judeoscope post and have just received an email from them:

Along with Robert Redeker’s text you translated Judeoscope’s commentary. For the record, our commentary was poorly translated to the point that it contradicts the original’s meaning and intent. Please correct your translation or delete it.

Thank you,

David Ouellette


I immediately replied to Mr. Ouellette,

Please send me your translation and I’ll gladly post it right away, with an apology.
I most certainly apologize.

I’m now waiting for his reply.

Update 2, September 30, 2006 Here is Judeoscope’s correction:

Thanks for replying.

What needs to be changed is the second sentence, which should not be attached to the first. This means Judeoscope doesn’t share Mr. Redeker’s viewpoint. If indeed Islamism cannot be separated from Islam, denigrating Islam in its integrity is just as unacceptable – if only out of respect for our many Muslim friends striving to reconcile Islam with modernity.

My most sincere apologies for the error. Please note I welcome any corrections to any of my translations.

This is my translation of the Redeker article. PLEASE CREDIT FAUSTA’S BLOG WHEN YOU USE THIS IN YOUR POST.

Face aux intimidations islamistes, que doit faire le monde libre?
In the face of Islamist intimidations, what is the free world to do?

Robert Redeker
Le Figaro
Robert Redeker (Professor of philosophy at the school Pierre-Paul-Riquet in Saint-Orens in Gammeville. Author of the upcoming Dépression et philosophie (éditions Pleins Feux).

The reactions generated by Pope Benedict XVI’s analysis on Islam and violence aim to continue Islam’s attempt to suppress what is most valuable in the West and which Muslim countries don’t have: freedoms of thought and expression. Islam tries to impose its rules on Europe : restricting public swimming pools at certain hours for women only, prohibiting to caricature this religion, requiring the compliance of strict dietary rules for Muslim children in school lunchrooms, fighting for wearing the veil at school, and issuing charges of islamophobia against those who are not like-minded.

How to explain the prohibition of the string bikini at the Paris-Beaches [translator’s note: for a few weeks in the summer the banks of the Seine are converted into a public “beach” in Paris, complete with sand] this summer? It was a strange argument: because of the risk of “disorders against law and order”. Did that mean that bands of frustrated young people were likely to become violent from the display of beauty? Or did one fear islamist demonstrations, via virtue brigades, within the Paris-Beaches?

However, allowing the wearing of the veil on the streets is, because of the support to the oppression of women that the veil signifies, more likely “to disturb the law and order” than the string bikini. One is not out of line in thinking that this gesture represents an Islamization of the French spirit, a submission more or less conscious to the tenets of Islam. Or, at the very least, that it results from an insidious Moslem pressure on the spirit. Islamization of the spirit: even those which protested against the inauguration of a Jean-Paul-II Square in Paris do not oppose building mosques. Islam tries to force Europe to yield to its vision of man.

As formerly with Communism, the West is under ideological monitoring. Islam arises, like the image of late Communism, as an alternative to the Western world. Following the example of the Communism of old, Islam, by aiming to conquer the spirit, strikes a sensitive cord. It boasts a legitimacy which disturbs the Western conscience, always sensitive to others: to be the voice of the poor of planet. Yesterday the voice of the poor claimed to come from Moscow, today it would come from Mecca! Today again, the intellectuals incarnate this eye of the Koran, as they incarnated the eye of Moscow yesterday. They excommunicate for islamophobia, as they did yesterday for anticommunism.

In opening to others, specific to the West, a secularization of Christianity appears, which can be summarized as: the other must have a right to be. The Westener, heir to Christianity, is the one who loves to discover. By doing so it takes the risk of appearing weak. Like Communism, Islam regards as soft the generosity, broadmindedness, and tolerance; and women’s freedom, liberty of mores, and democratic values are considered marks of decline.

These are weaknesses that it wants to exploit with the help of “useful idiots” with good consciences filled with finer feelings, in order to impose the Koranic order on the Western world itself.

The Koran is a book imbued with violence. Maxime Rodinson states, in the Encyclopédia Universalis, some truths regarded as taboo in France. On the one hand, “Muhammed revealed in Medina unsuspected qualities as political leader and military chief (…) He resorted to the private war, current institution in Arabia (…) Muhammed sent quick small groups of his partisans to attack the caravans, thus punishing his unbeliever compatriots and at the same time acquiring spoils from the rich.”

In addition, “Muhammed successfully eliminated from Medina, through massacre, the last Jewish tribe which remained there, the Qurayza, which he accused of suspect behavior”. Lastly, “after the death of Khadidja, he married a widow, Sawda, and also young Aisha, who was hardly ten years old. His erotic inclinations, contained for long time, were to make him contract ten simultaneous marriages”.

Violence instigator, ruthless war chief, plunderer, massacrer of Jews, polygamist: such is the image of Muhammed in the Koran.

True, the Catholic Church is not free from reproach. Its history is strewn with black pages, of which it has repented. The Inquisition, witch hunting, the execution of the philosophers Bruno and Vanini, the poor-minded epicureans who in the middle of the eighteenth century were tired for impiety, do not plead in its favor. But what differentiates Christianity from Islam appears: it is always possible to turn to evangelic values, the soft person of Jesus against the drifts of the Church.

None the faults of the Church are rooted in the Gospel. Jesus is non-violent. The return to Jesus is a recourse against the excesses of the institution connected with the church. The recourse to Muhammed, on the contrary, reinforces hatred and violence. Jesus is a Master of love, Muhammed a Master of hatred.

The stoning of Satan, annually in Mecca, is not a mere superstitious phenomenon. It doesn’t only show a hysterical crowd flirting with cruelty. Its rage is anthropological. Here is indeed a rite, to which each Moslem is invited to subject, registering violence like a duty crowned in the heart of belief.

This stoning, where annually some of the faithful – at times hundreds – die from being trampled on, is a ritual which breeds ancient violence.

Instead of eliminating this ancient violence, by imitating Judaism and Christianity, by neutralizing it (the Judaism starts with the rejection of human sacrifice, i.e. by which it enters into civilization, Christianity transforms the sacrifice into Eucharist), Islam builds a nest for it, where it will grow from the heat. While the Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites delegitimize violence, Islam is a religion which whose very own sacred texts, as banal as some of its rites may be, exalts violence and hatred.

Hatred and violence live the book in which any Moslem is educated, the Koran. As in the times of the Cold War, violence and intimidation are the means used by an ideology with hegemonic vocation, Islam, to throw its lead cover on the world. Benedict XVI suffers from this cruel experiment. In these our times it is necessary to call the West “the free world” compared to the Moslem world, and in these times the enemies of this “free world”, dedicated civil servants of the Koran, swarm in its centre.

Please vote for this article at Real Clear Politics.

(NOTE I corrected several typing errors and made one sentence more clear.)

Update Via LGF, Brussels Journal reports that

Pierre Rousselin, the editor in chief of Le Figaro, apologized on Al-jazeera for the publication of the article. A number of Islamic countries, including Egypt, banned Le Figaro following the publication of Redeker’s piece. Mr Rousselin said the publication of the op-ed was a mistake. He said the article did not express the paper’s opinion. The article is no longer available on the Figaro website.

Mr Redeker has written a letter to his friend, the philosopher André Glucksmann, describing his ordeal [French text here]:

“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.”

Update 3 Le Figaro now has redacted a letter defending freedom of expression (h/t Hot Air), but the original Redeker article is no longer available at their site.

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6 Responses to “The article that may cost a man his life, and that of his family”

  1. Baron Bodissey Says:

    Trackback here.

    Fausta, I found some typos & fixed them in my quote. Hope you don’t mind… :)

  2. Fausta Says:

    Thank you Baron! Corrections made.

  3. Demon Lazeros Says:

    Once again, Islam responds to accusations of violence with threats of violence.

    Oops, does that mean my life is in danger now?

  4. ForNow Says:

    The islamists hate Redeker not for saying that violence, mass murder of Jews, looting, polygamy, etc., are big in the Koran and Mohammed, rather the islamists hate Redeker for making all that Koranic & Mohammed violence, mass murder of Jews, looting, polygamy, etc., sound like a bad thing.

  5. The Sanity Inspector Says:

    Linked, very nice job.

    That philosopher, Andre Glucksmann, that Redeker sent the email to? He’s the fellow last year who said that the Parisian rioters were merely trying to fit into French society.

  6. Jack H Says:

    My own take, here

    Good work. Thanks.