Via Media

Via Media


French high school philosophy teacher goes into hiding from thugs who threaten him for expressing his opinion:

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.”

Comments read comments(15)
post a comment
Kevin Jones

posted September 30, 2006 at 12:45 pm

I had thought he was a philosophy professor, not a high school teacher. I take it this means he will have even less support among the local professoriate than he would have otherwise. And I presume French high school teachers have about as few national and international connections as their American counterparts, so his support network must be meager. So sad.

report abuse

Blind Squirrel

posted September 30, 2006 at 5:49 pm

Nobody ever accused the Salafists of forward thinking. All that this will do is fuel the inevitable backlash–just as the annual Ramadan riots are currently doing in Brussels. With Belgian elections due to take place in less than a fortnight, the Vlaams Blok must be rubbing its hands in glee.

report abuse

Donald R.McClarey

posted September 30, 2006 at 7:22 pm

Casual murder is the way in which Sharia has often been enforced in Islamic lands, and the jihadists seek to do the same in the West. We must all stand up to these thugs or we will all eventually live in fear.

report abuse

Rich Leonardi

posted September 30, 2006 at 9:25 pm

If that backlash will awaken the continent from its Christophobic, defeatist slumber, bring it on.

report abuse


posted October 1, 2006 at 9:30 am

The old story of the camel in the tent comes to mind.

report abuse


posted October 1, 2006 at 2:08 pm

Is this still a Catholic website?

report abuse


posted October 1, 2006 at 4:29 pm

Is this still a Catholic website?”
I’m sure Amy means it in a loving way.
Let’s be real here. I can love my enemy without respecting him. I can pray for my enemy without allowing him to kill the innocent through inaction.
Those who would try to deny the truthful criticism of those who study history and philosophy through intimidation and murder are “scum.” I do not judge them but believe when they are judged by He who will judge us all that they will be found wanting and punished.
I can continue to pray for thier conversion while not fooling myself about who and what they are.

report abuse

Joe D

posted October 1, 2006 at 5:32 pm

In the light of Jesus Christ, no one is “scum”.
Recognizing that – constantly, constantly – in no way is acceptance of wrong-doing.
Words like “scum” are abhorrent evidence that the central message of Christianity has been missed by those that use them.

report abuse


posted October 1, 2006 at 7:04 pm

“Words like “scum” are abhorrent evidence that the central message of Christianity has been missed by those that use them.”
Maybe, maybe not. What is your opinion of Jesus calling people vipers, hypocrites, and whitewashed tombs?

report abuse

Donald R.McClarey

posted October 1, 2006 at 8:27 pm

Scum in this case is a totally accurate description for the people making the death threats. I find it amusing that some people prefer to comment upon this term while ignoring that a man is in fear for his life due to the fact that jihadists will brook no criticism. Camels and gnats.

report abuse

reluctant penitent

posted October 1, 2006 at 8:29 pm

Since when is it the ‘central message of Christianity’ that one ought never use strong words in judging those who do evil?

report abuse


posted October 1, 2006 at 9:51 pm

The word characterized the people as “scum”: worthless refuse. This cannot be true to a Christian.
Their behavior may be scummy; they are not “scum”. Remember hate the sin, love the sinner?
Maybe this isn’t a Catholic blog anymore.
“Scum in this case is a totally accurate description for the people making the death threats”. Not in the light of Christ.

report abuse


posted October 1, 2006 at 11:37 pm

Kevin — Re support from fellows in the state school system in France. The minister of national education, Gilles de Robien, managed on Friday, I think, to imply that as a public school employee M. Redeker (I forget the precise words) ought to know better than to ‘speak’ in public ‘imprudently and without moderation’, I think it was. (Although M. de Robien expressed the obligatory “solidarity” with Redeker’s plight.)
And lest we suppose that M. Redeker is an ardent Catholic, I think (based on information in the French blog Vox Galliae) that it is truer to say that he is in the Christopher Hitchens faction of the anti-Islamist front (although he may be formally Catholic).

report abuse

reluctant penitent

posted October 2, 2006 at 12:21 am

In your view, is someone authentically Catholic only if he or she uses very nice language to talk about people doing terrible things?
If you ever decide to start a blog that reflects your unique take on Catholic teaching you might consider the following motto: ‘Child rapists, ethnic cleansers, abortionists, and pornographers–terrific folks with bad hobbies.’

report abuse

Ed the Roman

posted October 2, 2006 at 11:12 am

Well, Churchill described cultured people as the glittering scum that float on the borad river of production, so scum isn’t all bad.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as on

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No? about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.