The murder of the 12 people in an attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, has given rise to a fresh evaluation of radical Islam. For the most part, the West is counter-attacking with support for the freedom of expression, which such a heinous event was intended to punish and curtail. On Twitter, check out #jesuischarlie – “I am Charlie.”
But today a radical Muslim cleric in London, Anjem Choudary, stated clearly that the employees of Charlie Hebdo brought their deaths on themselves. Below is his article:
Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.
Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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.
Within liberal democracies, freedom of expression has curtailments, such as laws against incitement and hatred.
The truth is that Western governments are content to sacrifice liberties and freedoms when being complicit to torture and rendition — or when restricting the freedom of movement of Muslims, under the guise of protecting national security.
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?
It is time that the sanctity of a Prophet revered by up to one-quarter of the world’s population was protected.
The worldview of radical Islam is frightening because it is borne out of weakness and fear. It is delusional to think for one moment that murdering those who speak against the “honor of the Prophet” shows strength of faith and character.
Christ never demanded that his “honor” be defended. He told Peter to put down his sword when he attempted to protect him (John 18:10-11). He told his disciples that the world hated Him so they should be prepared to be treated badly as well (John 15:18-25).
The only story where Jesus remotely deals with the issue of “honor” is when he drives the money-changers out of the temple (John 2:13-17). They were desecrating the holiness of the temple by exploiting the people who had come to worship. They had turned God’s house into a “den of thieves.” He turned over the tables, scattered the sheep and told those who sold doves to take them away. Even in his anger the scoundrels lost nothing. They could pick up the money and corral the animals. Even the dove were safe. They would have flown away if he had turned over their tables – but he didn’t. He just told the sellers to scram.
Any religion (including Christianity) that needs to force compliance from its followers and threaten outsiders shares more with fascism that than anything else.
The beautiful truth is that the history of the faith is filled with those who once spoke violently against Christ and then, overwhelmed by grace, embraced Him as Savior. It began with the Apostle Paul and continues to this day.
Napoleon lamented that while he had conquered the world with force, Jesus had conquered the world with love. God is relentlessly patient with even the most cynical and hostile critic.
I am grateful that we live in a country of free expression. Let people discredit, dishonor, offend, and misrepresent Christ all they want. It is a free country and God does not need my help to keep his honor.