They were in danger, the Charlie Hebdo group. The French government knew they were in danger but failed to protect them. The Hebdo’s hired Private Security. The bill should have been paid by the government because the local police whose job it was to provide protection refused to or admitted they were unable to protect them. Or, maybe, they were unwilling to protect a few people who seemed to be taunting the Prophet. Some people now say “they deserved it”. Of course they did no such thing.
What is government supposed to do? At the least, …… at the minimum it is supposed to provide day by day protection against criminals. There’s no guarantee of course that the police or even the military can protect anyone. No guarantee possible because of the great many dangers but, – too few police. Too big a job, to protect each individual. Too many criminals; too few police. A real breakdown of government. Too bad.
Nevertheless, a religious motive for murder doesn’t excuse the murder. In fact a religious motive makes the crime even more dangerous. It’s been a long journey from the swamps to a civil society. Some groups didn’t make it. Some were unable to transition from the medieval to the modern. By not making the transition the medievalists can’t eliminate the religious connection. The modern world requires the recognition of individual rights. The medieval exists in a constant of state of bloody religious warfare. The salvation for the individual is the recognition of and the sovereignty of the individual. But the religious world cannot accept the age of reason.
Martin Luther said: “Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but – more frequently than not – struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God”.
But the ultimate target of the Terrorists, as of all mystics, is not a particular “blasphemy,” or attack on the Prophet but reason itself, along with its cultural and political expressions: science, the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution, America and The European West.
Ayn Rand wrote in Philosophy: Who Needs It, in her prescient 1960 essay “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World”:
The conflict of reason versus mysticism is the issue of life or death — or freedom or slavery — or progress or stagnant brutality. . . . Reason is the only objective means of communication and of understanding among men; when men deal with one another by means of reason, reality is their objective standard and frame of reference. But when men claim to possess supernatural means of knowledge, no persuasion, communication or understanding is possible.
That in a succinct paragraph is the danger presented by the Religious Based Terrorists. That’s the fight. Many people have denounced the terrorists who murdered Charlie Hebdo, but have then undercut their own stand by offering apologies to those whose “sensibilities” the cartoons “offended.” No apology is necessary. No creed, no religion Jewish, Christian, Catholic, Muslim or otherwise, which leads to “holy terror” can demand respect from civilized men.
“Blasphemy” violates no one’s rights. Those who feel insulted by the cartoons don’t have look at the tnsults. In defending religious liberty, Jefferson observed that “the operations of the mind” must not be made “subject to the coercion of the laws,” adding:
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
If blasphemy is the issue, we submit that a religious Terrorist inciting murder is blasphemy against the sanctity of human life. It is said that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons impugnrf the faith of believers. So does science. It is said that the cartoons are offensive to the values of the Muslims. So is the United States of America.
Conservatives have become dominated by religionists, who openly base their views on mystical dogma and want the government to impose their dogmas by force which is just what the Terrorists are doing. Homegrown fundamentalists are in no position to lead a crusade for free thought. Can these groups maintain that it is wrong to ban the cartoons but OK to ban Evolution?
That’s the essence of the problem and the reason Religionists have no voice denouncing terror that’s based on religion. The cure isn’t to kill the Terrorists although that’s a given. The cure is to root out the medieval and replace it with reason. The only life the Terrorists can forfeit is their own. All other people who have a legitimate terror threat must be protected by armed police and or military until the terror threats are eliminated. Anyone making such a threat is committing a crime and must be arrested. If that means arresting entire neighborhoods that have become radicalized and in which there are scores of people who advocate or support terror then they must be arrested and removed from the society as a matter of simple self-defense. Anything less or anything else is not protecting freedom, Liberty or the innocent. .