Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism’

Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism’
Intolerance for free expression is rooted in classical Islam.

Image from video footage of the attackers.
Andrew C. McCarthy

There are now at least twelve confirmed dead in the terrorist attack carried out by at least three jihadist gunmen against the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo. While it practices equal-opportunity satire, lampooning Islam has proved lethal for the magazine, just as it has for so many others who dare to exercise the bedrock Western liberty of free expression.Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed in 2011 over a caricature of Mohammed that depicted him saying, “100 lashes if you don’t die from laughter.”

The cartoon was obviously referring to sharia, Islam’s legal code and totalitarian framework. Don’t take my word for it. Just flip through Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, the authoritative sharia manual. You will find a number of offenses for which flagellation is the prescribed penalty.

To take just a couple of examples, “the penalty for drinking is to be scourged forty stripes,” although the caliph (the Islamic ruler) is authorized to increase this to 80 stripes — although he must pay an indemnity if death results. . . . Pretty moderate, right? (Reliance, p. 617, sec. o16.3.) For adultery “the penalty consists of being scourged one hundred stripes” — and that’s if the adulterer “is not considered to have the capacity to remain chaste” (e.g., if she “is prepubescent at the time of marital intercourse).” “If the offender is someone with the capacity to remain chaste, then he or she is stoned to death.” (Reliance, p. 610, sec. o12.2.)

What Charlie Hebdo has satirized is a savage reality. That reality was visited on the magazine again today. As night follows day, progressive governments in Europe and the United States are already straining to pretend that this latest atrocity is the wanton work of “violent extremists,” utterly unrelated to Islam. You are to believe, then, that François Hollande, Barack Obama, David Cameron, and their cohort of non-Muslim Islamophiles are better versed in sharia than the Muslim scholars who’ve dedicated their lives to its study and have endorsed such scholarly works asReliance.

Let me repeat what I have detailed here before: Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State did not make up sharia law. Islam did. We can keep our heads tucked snug in the sand, or we can recognize the source of the problem.

As I detailed in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the literalist construction of sharia that Islamic supremacists seek to enforce is “literal” precisely because it comes from Islamic scripture, not from some purportedly “extremist” fabrication of Islam. Moreover, this “classical sharia” is enthusiastically endorsedin principle by several of the most influential institutions in the Islamic Middle East, which explains why it is routinely put into practice when Islamists are given — or seize — the opportunity to rule over a territory.

Reliance is not some al-Qaeda or Islamic State pamphlet. It is a renowned explication of sharia’s provisions and their undeniable roots in Muslim scripture. In the English translation, before you get to chapter and verse, there are formal endorsements, including one from the International Institute of Islamic Thought — a U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood think tank begun in the early Eighties (and to which American administrations of both parties have resorted as an exemplar of “moderation”). Perhaps more significantly, there is also an endorsement from the Islamic Research Academy at al Azhar University, the ancient seat of Sunni learning to which President Obama famously turned to co-sponsor his cloyingly deceptive 2009 speech on relations between Islam and the West.

In their endorsement, the al-Azhar scholars wrote:

We certify that the . . . translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community. . . . There is no objection to printing it and circulating it. . . . May Allah give you success in serving Sacred Knowledge and the religion.

There could be no more coveted stamp of scholarly approval in Islam.

Charlie Hebdo, of course, is in the business of cartoon caricature for satirical purposes. That is a time-honored method of expression, political and otherwise, in the West. That is in stark contrast to how such expression is viewed by Islam. Here, as I summarized in my book Spring Fever – quoted verbatim and supported by citations — is what Reliance has to say about such visual art forms:

It is forbidden to make pictures of “animate life,” for doing so “imitates the creative act of Allah Most High”; “Whoever makes a picture, Allah shall torture him with it on the Day of Judgment until he can breathe life into it, and he will never be able to.” (Reliance w50.0 & ff.)

Nor is visual depiction alone in drawing sharia’s wrath. “Musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” As Reliance elaborates, singing is generally prohibited (for “song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage”), and “on the Day of Resurrection Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.” There is an exception, though: If unaccompanied by musical instruments, song and poetry drawn from Islamic scripture and encouraging obedience to Allah are permissible. Ironically, although music is generally forbidden, dancing is permissible “unless it is languid, like the movements of the effeminate.” (Reliance r40.0 &ff.)

Muslim Cleric Defends Paris Terrorist Attack

Anjem Choudary

Muslim Cleric Defends Paris Terrorist Attack

January 8, 2015 – 10:24 AM

By Curtis Kalin

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In the wake of the terrorist attack on the offices of French satirist paper Charlie Heddo , one Muslim cleric justified the murders under Islamic law.

USA today published a column by avowed “radical Muslim cleric” Anjem Choudary. The piece titled “People know the consequences” asks why France would allow the paper to mock Islam, and further excused the systematic murders as justified under Islamic law:

French citizens gather in Paris to denounce the terrorist attack against magazine Charlie Hebdo and to rally in defense of free speech. (AP)

“Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, “Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.”

“However, because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see.”

The contention that mass murder is in any way an appropriate response to being personally offended is a dangerous slope on which to tread. There is no doubt that some of these cartoons can be seen as offensive to certain people, but that same sentiment can be asserted on nearly any form of speech, especially in politics. Hence, the reasoning behind and the sanctity of the Constitution’s first amendment.

Choudary then reversed the blame for the attack away from the three terrorists themselves and onto the French government:

“So why in this case did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the sanctity of its citizens at risk?”

This kind of blame shifting is also intellectually perilous. Placing the onus of speech on the any secular government is asking for abuse. But, if Choudary had his way, the government of the Islamic State would tightly control speech and punish transgressions with death.

Choudary’s entire argument excusing the Paris attack reveals the fundamental disconnect between views of civilizations. Radical Islamists have no intention of assimilating into their respective cultures or contributing to any kind of meaningful dialogue about religion and free speech. They are intent on terrorizing western citizens out of exerting their rights. Their plan of terrorism and intimidation, with the ultimate goal of imposing their religion on others is fundamentally anti-American and is not meant for the 21st century.

Franklin Graham: Both Obama And Bush ‘Have Done A Great Disservice,’ Calling Islam Peaceful

Franklin Graham: Both Obama And Bush ‘Have Done A Great Disservice,’ Calling Islam Peaceful

“Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people.”

In a commentary for Decision magazine, evangelist Franklin Graham calls out both President Obama and President Bush for defending Islam as a religion of peace.

Graham is reacting specifically to Obama’s speech before the U.N. in September in which the president said, “Islam teaches peace,” and also to George W. Bush, who, days after 9/11, said, “Islam is peace.”

Graham writes:

Both men have done a great disservice to the American public by not understanding Islam and its teaching in the Quran.

The day after Obama addressed the U.N. in September, Graham recalls that he stood across from the White House in Lafayette Square with the hope that the president would hear his message in praying for the release of imprisoned Iranian-American Christian Saeed Abedini:

Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people in the barbaric fashion the world has watched recently.

Mr. President—believers in a peaceful religion do not kidnap 300 young schoolgirls as Boko Haram did in northeastern Nigeria in April and reportedly [sell] them to men to be sex slaves.

Mr. President—men who practice a peaceful religion do not detonate bombs on an American street during a marathon race to kill and maim innocent people.

Mr. President—no one who belongs to a peaceful religion would even consider hijacking jet airliners and flying them into buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people beginning their workday, as happened in this country and in this city on 9/11.

Mr. President—no peaceful religion would tolerate, let alone practice, female circumcision, require a woman to have her husband’s permission to leave her home and take up employment, and restrict her ability to receive justice in the case of sex crimes.

Mr. President—a peaceful religion would not condone and allow a father to drown a daughter in a swimming pool in front of the family in the name of family honor because she might have stayed out late in the evening with her boyfriend.

Mr. President—why haven’t the 3.5 million Muslims in North America rejected this gross, barbaric and despicable behavior by their fellow Muslims on American soil?

And that is Graham’s question left unanswered. He adds: “Why haven’t many, if not most, of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world condemned these violent crimes against innocent humanity as they have occurred? Why would 23 percent of the world’s population stand by and allow their fellow Muslims to define them by violent behavior if this is truly a religion of peace?”

Christians, Graham affirms, “quickly and unanimously rise together to condemn” violent acts in the name of Christianity. “I cannot recall a single instance of violent behavior supposedly done in the name of Christianity that was not immediately repudiated by the Christian community,” he writes.

Graham calls Islam a “false religion…guided and characterized by treacherous deceit.” Furthermore, he concludes that a false religion can never be a true religion of peace. Only true religion that reconciles “a holy God and sinful man” can “bring lasting peace.”

He is not implying every false religion engages in “barbaric behavior,” but none of them, he says, “can deliver from the damning power of sin:”

Christ alone, the Son of God, saves from sin, Satan and death. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead.

My earnest prayer is that the Lord will use the chaotic and frightening events we see happening on the world stage to drive people, including followers of Islam, to the only solution—personal, transforming faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Franklin Graham: Both Obama And Bush ‘Have Done A Great Disservice,’ Calling Islam Peaceful

Franklin Graham: Both Obama And Bush ‘Have Done A Great Disservice,’ Calling Islam Peaceful

“Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people.”

 franklin_graham copy

In a commentary for Decision magazine, evangelist Franklin Graham calls out both President Obama and President Bush for defending Islam as a religion of peace.

Graham is reacting specifically to Obama’s speech before the U.N. in September in which the president said, “Islam teaches peace,” and also to George W. Bush, who, days after 9/11, said, “Islam is peace.”

Graham writes:

Both men have done a great disservice to the American public by not understanding Islam and its teaching in the Quran.

The day after Obama addressed the U.N. in September, Graham recalls that he stood across from the White House in Lafayette Square with the hope that the president would hear his message in praying for the release of imprisoned Iranian-American Christian Saeed Abedini:

Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people in the barbaric fashion the world has watched recently.

Mr. President—believers in a peaceful religion do not kidnap 300 young schoolgirls as Boko Haram did in northeastern Nigeria in April and reportedly [sell] them to men to be sex slaves.

Mr. President—men who practice a peaceful religion do not detonate bombs on an American street during a marathon race to kill and maim innocent people.

Mr. President—no one who belongs to a peaceful religion would even consider hijacking jet airliners and flying them into buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people beginning their workday, as happened in this country and in this city on 9/11.

Mr. President—no peaceful religion would tolerate, let alone practice, female circumcision, require a woman to have her husband’s permission to leave her home and take up employment, and restrict her ability to receive justice in the case of sex crimes.

Mr. President—a peaceful religion would not condone and allow a father to drown a daughter in a swimming pool in front of the family in the name of family honor because she might have stayed out late in the evening with her boyfriend.

Mr. President—why haven’t the 3.5 million Muslims in North America rejected this gross, barbaric and despicable behavior by their fellow Muslims on American soil?

And that is Graham’s question left unanswered. He adds: “Why haven’t many, if not most, of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world condemned these violent crimes against innocent humanity as they have occurred? Why would 23 percent of the world’s population stand by and allow their fellow Muslims to define them by violent behavior if this is truly a religion of peace?”

Christians, Graham affirms, “quickly and unanimously rise together to condemn” violent acts in the name of Christianity. “I cannot recall a single instance of violent behavior supposedly done in the name of Christianity that was not immediately repudiated by the Christian community,” he writes.

Graham calls Islam a “false religion…guided and characterized by treacherous deceit.” Furthermore, he concludes that a false religion can never be a true religion of peace. Only true religion that reconciles “a holy God and sinful man” can “bring lasting peace.”

He is not implying every false religion engages in “barbaric behavior,” but none of them, he says, “can deliver from the damning power of sin:”

Christ alone, the Son of God, saves from sin, Satan and death. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead.

My earnest prayer is that the Lord will use the chaotic and frightening events we see happening on the world stage to drive people, including followers of Islam, to the only solution—personal, transforming faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Franklin Graham: Both Obama And Bush ‘Have Done A Great Disservice,’ Calling Islam Peaceful

franklin_graham copy

Franklin Graham: Both Obama And Bush ‘Have Done A Great Disservice,’ Calling Islam Peaceful

“Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people.”

In a commentary for Decision magazine, evangelist Franklin Graham calls out both President Obama and President Bush for defending Islam as a religion of peace.

Graham is reacting specifically to Obama’s speech before the U.N. in September in which the president said, “Islam teaches peace,” and also to George W. Bush, who, days after 9/11, said, “Islam is peace.”

Graham writes:

Both men have done a great disservice to the American public by not understanding Islam and its teaching in the Quran.

The day after Obama addressed the U.N. in September, Graham recalls that he stood across from the White House in Lafayette Square with the hope that the president would hear his message in praying for the release of imprisoned Iranian-American Christian Saeed Abedini:

Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people in the barbaric fashion the world has watched recently.

Mr. President—believers in a peaceful religion do not kidnap 300 young schoolgirls as Boko Haram did in northeastern Nigeria in April and reportedly [sell] them to men to be sex slaves.

Mr. President—men who practice a peaceful religion do not detonate bombs on an American street during a marathon race to kill and maim innocent people.

Mr. President—no one who belongs to a peaceful religion would even consider hijacking jet airliners and flying them into buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people beginning their workday, as happened in this country and in this city on 9/11.

Mr. President—no peaceful religion would tolerate, let alone practice, female circumcision, require a woman to have her husband’s permission to leave her home and take up employment, and restrict her ability to receive justice in the case of sex crimes.

Mr. President—a peaceful religion would not condone and allow a father to drown a daughter in a swimming pool in front of the family in the name of family honor because she might have stayed out late in the evening with her boyfriend.

Mr. President—why haven’t the 3.5 million Muslims in North America rejected this gross, barbaric and despicable behavior by their fellow Muslims on American soil?

And that is Graham’s question left unanswered. He adds: “Why haven’t many, if not most, of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world condemned these violent crimes against innocent humanity as they have occurred? Why would 23 percent of the world’s population stand by and allow their fellow Muslims to define them by violent behavior if this is truly a religion of peace?”

Christians, Graham affirms, “quickly and unanimously rise together to condemn” violent acts in the name of Christianity. “I cannot recall a single instance of violent behavior supposedly done in the name of Christianity that was not immediately repudiated by the Christian community,” he writes.

Graham calls Islam a “false religion…guided and characterized by treacherous deceit.” Furthermore, he concludes that a false religion can never be a true religion of peace. Only true religion that reconciles “a holy God and sinful man” can “bring lasting peace.”

He is not implying every false religion engages in “barbaric behavior,” but none of them, he says, “can deliver from the damning power of sin:”

Christ alone, the Son of God, saves from sin, Satan and death. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again from the dead.

My earnest prayer is that the Lord will use the chaotic and frightening events we see happening on the world stage to drive people, including followers of Islam, to the only solution—personal, transforming faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.