French philosophers rally behind Redeker

The Times reports that more than 20 “stars of the French intellectual world” have appealed to the government to do more to help Robert Redeker, the author of an article critical of Islam and Muhammed.

A letter to Le Monde, signed by, among others, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Alain Finkielkraut and André Glucksmann, deplored the government’s cowardice in the face of Islamic extremists:

A handful of fanatics are brandishing supposed religious laws to throw into question in our country the most fundamental liberties

The French government have been rather qualified in their support for Redeker. Gilles de Robien, the education minister, voiced solidarity but added that he should have been “careful, moderate and sensible in all circumstances”. And Prime Minister Dominique Villepin was particularly equivocal:

Everyone has the right to express his views freely, while respecting others, of course.

4 Responses to “French philosophers rally behind Redeker”

  1. Marc Draco says:

    Express views, yes. Blow shit up or threaten people? No bloody way.

  2. Sunny says:

    Ok I accept there are lots of nutjobs walking out there… but all this hoo-haa because of some internet statement?

    So any kid can go to some internet forum, make a threat and suddenly the entire country is in meltdown. I think the French need to get a grip to a certain extent.

  3. Monitor says:

    Sunny, your point about people getting scared too easily is an important one. Cancelling Idomeneo when there wasn’t so much as a squeak from any religious party is an example. The recent “hijacking” is another – an unarmed, non-aggressive Turk in a tracksuit requests the plane be diverted to Rome because he’s “protesting about the Pope”, so the captain shits himself and capitulates. Why? Because the “hijacker” looks like a Muslim and is therefore a murderous maniac?

    Having said that, the threats to Redeker appeared on several websites – one including a map to his home, with the words “this pig must be decaptated” – and also came via email. I think these have to be taken seriously.

  4. Marc Draco says:

    Monitor has it right there. Sure, we can alll go around making idle threats, but there is a point at which you’ve got to say, “this threat is serious.”

    I’ve heard conflicting reports about the Turk. Some now say there were two of them??? And he wasn’t really protesting about the Pope.