Muslim religious bigots chase French teacher into hiding

NY Times:

A French high school philosophy teacher and author who carried out a scathing attack against the Prophet Muhammad and Islam in a newspaper commentary says he has gone into hiding under police protection after receiving a series of death threats, including one disseminated on an online radical Islamist forum.

The teacher, Robert Redeker, 52, wrote in the center-right daily Le Figaro 10 days ago that Muhammad was “a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass-murderer of Jews and a polygamist,” and called the Koran “a book of incredible violence.”

The Redeker case is the latest manifestation in Europe of a mounting ideological battle that pits those who believe Islam and the Prophet Muhammad can be criticized in the name of free speech against those in the Muslim community who believe no criticism can be tolerated.

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In his commentary, Mr. Redeker compared Islam unfavorably to Christianity and Judaism, although he admitted that the history of the Catholic Church was “full of dark pages,” and he criticized the hostile reaction to the pope’s remarks.

“Jesus is a master of love; Muhammad is a master of hatred,” Mr. Redeker wrote, adding, “Whereas Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites forsake violence and remove its legitimacy, Islam is a religion that, in its very sacred text, as much as in some of its everyday rites, exalts violence and hatred. Hatred and violence dwell in the very book that educates any Muslim, the Koran.”

Immediately afterward, Mr. Redeker, who teaches in a public high school near Toulouse and is the author of several books on philosophy, began to receive death threats by telephone, e-mail and through the online Islamist Web site known as Al Hesbah, a password-protected forum with ties to Al Qaeda. The forum published photos of him and what it said was his home address, directions to his home and his cellphone number, according to the SITE Institute, which tracks violent Islamist groups.

That day’s issue of Le Figaro was banned in Egypt and Tunisia. Mr. Redeker was denounced by a commentator on Al Jazeera television.

“I can’t work, I can’t come and go and am obliged to hide,” Mr. Redeker told Europe 1 radio in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location on Friday. “So in some way, the Islamists have succeeded in punishing me on the territory of the republic as if I were guilty of a crime of opinion.”

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That is just a small part of what life would be like if we lose this war. In Europe it is already that way. The intolerance of the Muslims toward any critical thinking is one reason that many of them are so backward and such failures when it comes to modern society. Europe needs to stand up to these religious thurs and bigots and prosecute those who call for the death of critics under statutes that ban the solicitation of murder.

Update: TigerHawk has a good bit more on this latest Muslim outrage against free speech and the potential for inflaming the Euro street.

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