Today is the release date in France of a new novel by Michel Houllebecq entitled “Soumission” (Submission). In the book, the French presidential election of 2022 pits the candidate of a new Muslim political party against the candidate of the Front National. The Muslim candidate wins, then goes on to transform the public schools into Islamic schools, bans women in the workplace and promotes polygamy. This improbable scenario is an attempt to capitalize on current fears and the book had a massive first printing.
Le Point, a weekly news magazine, has just published a special edition this month which promises to tell the real story of the personal life of Mohamed.
This week, the front page of Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical newspaper, carried the headline “Still no attacks in France.” Beneath it was a cartoon of a jihadist saying “Just wait – we have until the end of January to present our New Year’s resolutions.”
Today, two men forced their way into an editorial meeting of Charlie Hebdo with Kalashnikovs and gunned down all those gathered there. Ten are dead, eleven more are in hospital. Two policemen are also dead. Other than shouting “Allahu Akbar!” they spoke impeccable French. They made their escape, but last reports say the driver of their car is now in custody.
What are we to make of all this?
First, it would appear that the Anglo-saxon malady of political correctness has not yet infected the French.
Secondly, the editors of Charlie Hebdo are on record as stating that humour and religion are incompatible. Islamists are in complete agreement with this, but their method of making their point is much more brutal.
Thirdly, those who found Charlie Hebdo’s brand of humour to be distasteful could simply ignore it. No one was compelled to buy it or read it. Radical Islamists do not want anyone to have freedom of choice.
Fourthly, as Christians we should mourn the deaths of fellow human beings, whether we agree with their philosophy or not. We should also mourn the twisted minds of those who believe they are doing service to God by killing others.