The Battle for British Islam

Any representation of the divine that leads people to murder each other deserves the maximum possible disrespect. — Giles Fraser, Parish Priest

The second of the Ten Commandments prohibits graven images – which is why there are no pictures of God in Judaism or Islam. — Giles Fraser, Parish Priest

Excellent, must watch, BBC Panorama last night on Muslims and extremists.

Renounce Islam, yes apply death sentence, says Muslim extremists.

Everything I have been saying, and more. And it is Muslims saying it.

Extremists now a very significant minority, if not a majority, and a very real threat.

A group of Muslims made a silly pop video. They were immediately attacked by extremists. Females in burkas attacking them.

If wearing a balaclava is offensive, then so is wearing a burka.

What everyone tends to forget, it is Muslims that bear the brunt of extremists.

Muslim TV channels beaming brainwashing propaganda into the UK.

The well rehearsed cry of Islamaphobia, victim culture, for which they have only themselves to blame.

Parish Priest Giles Fraser:

Rather disturbingly, one word seems to connect the activity of the Paris terrorists and that of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists: iconoclasm. I say disturbingly, because pointing out some common ground may be seen as blurring the crucial distinction between murderous bastards and innocent satirists.

Nonetheless, it strikes me as fascinating that the cartoonists were profoundly iconoclastic in their constant ridiculing of religion (all religions, it must be noted) – yet it is precisely this same ancient tradition of iconoclasm that inspires Jews and Muslims to resist representational art and, in its most twisted pathological form, to attack the offices of a Paris magazine and slaughter those whose only weapon was the pen. So what’s the connection?

In one sense an iconoclast is someone who refuses the established view of things, who kicks out against cherished beliefs and institutions. Which sounds pretty much like Charlie Hebdo. But the word iconoclast also describes those religious people who refuse and smash representational images, especially of the divine. The second of the Ten Commandments prohibits graven images – which is why there are no pictures of God in Judaism or Islam. And theologically speaking, the reason they are deeply suspicious of divine representation is because they fear that such representations of God might get confused for the real thing. The danger, they believe, is that we might end up overinvesting in a bad copy, something that looks a lot like what we might think of as god, but which, in reality, is just a human projection. So much better then to smash all representations of the divine.

And yet this, of course, is exactly what Charlie Hebdo was doing. In the bluntest, rudest, most scatological and offensive of terms, Charlie Hebdo has been insisting that the images people worship are just human creations – bad and dangerous human creations. And in taking the piss out of such images, they actually exist in a tradition of religious iconoclasts going back as far as Abraham taking a hammer to his father’s statues. Both are attacks on representations of the divine. Which is why the terrorists, as well as being murderers, are theologically mistaken in thinking Charlie Hebdo is the enemy. For if God is fundamentally unrepresentable, then any representation of God is necessarily less than God and thus deserves to be fully and fearlessly attacked. And what better way of doing this than through satire, like scribbling a little moustache on a grand statue of God.

It is those who question faith, who lead to a greater understanding of faith, but when they challenge the prevailing hypocrisy, they are branded as heretics and burnt at the stake, or have their offices fire bombed, or are gunned down in cold blood.

And well done Panorama, for featuring Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Unlike the cowardice of the rest of the mainstream British media.

A brilliant spoof issue, edited by the Prophet, if you do not laugh to death you will be lashed to death.

Sadly no joke in Saudi Arabia where a man has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes for trying to set up an on-line forum to discuss political and social issues.

Charlie Hebdo Je Suis Charlie

Charlie Hebdo Je Suis Charlie

Three million copies are to be printed of the forthcoming issue of Charlie Hebdo.

Muslims who have problem with depiction of the Prophet need to re-set their calender to 2015. Or follow the advice of the Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam, son of an imam in northern Morocco.

Sunday saw the largest ever demonstration in Paris. But not only Paris, not only France, not only Europe, across the world, people took to the streets to show solidarity against Muslim extremists.

If we value our freedoms, then the world has to stand in solidarity against Muslim extremism.

We must draw a line between Islam the religion and Islam as a Fascist ideology.

Islam as a Fascist ideology is as much a threat to the world today as the Nazis were in the 1930s.

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