There was a time in French history when religious madness was mainstream.
In 16th and 17th France was gripped by religious chaos.
From the Lyon riots to Cardinal Richelieu it wasn’t pretty and it was an all French affair.
What emerged from their 18th Revolution was a triumph of public secularism.
Since then religion, whether you believe or disbelieve, has been a private matter.
Unlike the United Kingdom there are no sectarian laws in force apropos the head of state.
The French have it nailed.
Sadly this island has had more recent experience of such god fuelled barbarism.
When I look at a still image from an ISIS beheading video (I have never watched one and will not do so) I think of Lenny Murphy and his Shankill butchers.
The Danish cartoons controversy told us that free speech in Europe was an affront to the Jihadist fascists.
There is a civil war going on in Islam.
Both main branches of that great faith are affected.
The Fatwa on Salman Rushdie was issued by the leadership of Revolutionary Iran, a Shiite theocracy, for the ‘crime’ of writing Satanic Verses.
For writing a novel
That was 27 years ago.
The Iranian secret service was dispatched to kill him.
Thankfully they failed.
The shooters in Paris were more likely to have been of the Sunni section of Islam.
I would not be surprised in the least if these heroes had been radicalized by a Wahhabist leaning imam.
Wahhabism is a viciously intolerant sect of Islam and has its origins in the religio-political alliance of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and his enforcer Muhammad Ibn Saud in what was then part of the Ottoman Empire.
They failed in their power grab, but their descendants succeeded in the early 20th century.
They had powerful friends who had their own agenda.
Today, thanks to duplicitous British statecraft after the Great War, we now know it as Saudi Arabia.
Their oil fired madrasas have spread this particularly intolerant form of the faith across the planet.
Imagine if the Westboro Baptist church had vast wealth enough to open free schools and do charity work anywhere there were poor Christians.
Get that into your head and you still cannot envisage the influence that these Saudi funded educational institutions are having on the young minds of millions of the Ummah.
Of course the vast majority of Moslems around the world will be appalled at what is being done in their name.
The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are in the front line of free speech.
An unhindered press is a sine qua non of a functioning democracy.
This statement from the NUJ is concise and unanswerable.
Today these killers brought Wahhabist jurisprudence to the streets of a wonderfully cultured city.
They cannot be allowed to win.
We know from the triumph of Malala Yousafzai what these madmen really fear.
They can handle drone strikes all day long, but a little girl with a school book scares the shit out of them.
The details are sketchy, but it is reported that as the gunmen left the scene they shouted “the Prophet has been avenged”.
Remember dear reader that is the guy that they usually say “peace be upon him” after mentioning his name.
Religious chaos brings in a specific grade of insanity.
There is no reasoning with the infected.
Only a long slow process of education, crucially of women within that faith, will neutralise the Jihadist pathogen.
However, today that sickness turned the office of a Parisian magazine into an abattoir.