Bruno Guiderdoni isn’t concerned about Westerners who go to Iraq in order to rebuild the country and end up being beheaded; he is concerned that someone might look askance at the Muslims in France as a result. Of course, no one should target innocent people in France, Iraq, or anywhere, but where exactly is the actual violence coming from? Note that he invokes a couple of old news items about remarks he didn’t like, but no acts of violence against Muslims in France. From UPI, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
BORDEAUX, France, June 21 (UPI) — European specialists on Islamic affairs fear that the beheadings of Americans and other foreigners in the Middle East will trigger a severe anti-Muslim backlash.
“These barbaric acts have been catastrophic for the prospects of Muslims in France,” said Bruno Guiderdoni, one of the country’s foremost Koran scholars. “A discernable shift has occurred in public attitudes,” he said. “Its most dangerous aspect is a new hostility even among the once-liberal French intellectuals against our religion.”
Two years ago, a three-judge panel cleared bestselling author Michel Houellebecq of inciting racial hate for describing Islam as “the most stupid religion.” Later he explained: “I have never displayed the least contempt for Muslims. But I have as much contempt as ever for Islam.”
Last fall, Claude Imbert, founder and editor in chief of the newsmagazine Le Point, declared: “To be honest, I am somewhat hostile to Islam. I am not embarrassed to admit that.”
To Guiderdoni, such blunt remarks from members of the intellectual elite are alarm signals. To observers it seems that Europeans no longer buy into statements of disassociation by prominent Islamic leaders such as Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council of Muslim Faith.
Boubakeur said: “Islam is not a religion that beats women, kills kids and desires the death of the West. What shocks the French is … even more of a shock to us.” Muslim extremists have by now beheaded three Americans and are threatening an abducted South Korean and a European — possibly German — journalist with a similar fate. …
On the one hand, the Muslim Holy Book counsels a broad-minded attitude toward other faiths, insists Sheikh Mohammed Mohammed Ali, a Shiite Muslim scholar who is currently running for a seat in the new Iraqi assembly.
On the other hand, the Koran clearly advises the faithful to slay and main infidels: “Strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Surah 8:12).
In a telephone call from Baghdad, Ali explains that under religious law decapitation is only permissible if approved by a ranking scholar whose role would then be comparable to that of the Supreme Court of the United States. “Nobody in al-Qaida has this competence. None has even ever attended an Islamic university or similar institution.”
OK. So you’re telling me that only someone who has gone to college can behead a non-Muslim? The absurdity of this is breathtaking, particularly since those Al-Qaeda operatives have all probably memorized the Qur’an, including 8:12, and they didn’t read the verse as “Strike off their heads if a university-trained scholar approves.”