An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Lizzie Dearden, John Lichfield and Cahal Milmo follows:
The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said three men were being hunted and said “all the means” had been mobilised to “neutralise the three criminals who have committed this barbaric act”.
He added that the operation will take place as quickly as possible in order to “identify the aggressors and arrest them in a way that they will be punished with the severity that corresponds to the barbaric act they have committed”.
The masked attackers, armed with automatic rifles, were heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” – God is great – as they stormed the office before opening fire in an editorial meeting…
The massacre was France’s deadliest terror attack in at least two decades and prompted condemnation from world leaders including David Cameron and Barack Obama, alongside journalists and free speech campaigners…
The Prime Minister, who described the killings as “sickening”, met Angela Merkel over the tragedy and said the leaders had contacted President Hollande to offer their support…
It has prompted a wave of global solidarity with Charlie Hebdo over what is being seen as a direct attack on freedom of expression.
From an amusing article (“Charlie Hebdo: Norway’s Christians didn’t have to apologise for Anders Breivik, and it’s the same for Muslims now”) by Mark Steel, the following:
The claim that Farage and many others appear to make is that Islam is inevitably violent, to which others reply that it’s a religion of peace, with each side quoting chunks of religious text to make their case. But this probably doesn’t help to settle the argument, as every religion’s holy book is a chaotic mixture.
The Old Testament is like an episode of The Sopranos written by someone on crack, with prophets murdering children for calling them “baldhead” and nations destroyed with locusts. But most of us can pass a church without thinking “we should deport those loonies, they want to turn you into a pillar of salt”.
Because Christianity can be interpreted in any way you like. You can be a Christian and believe that means you should be generous, peaceful, modest and love thy neighbour. Or you can be a Christian and be a Tony Blair. There’s room for everyone.
The same could be true of all faiths, its followers ranging from the heroic to the despicable, all of them justifying their actions by finding the relevant quote in their holy text. So the most logical response to any supposedly religious act is to respond to the act and not the religion.
But there is one other possibility that’s been overlooked. Maybe the murderers are confused by the British government’s attitude towards crazy Islamic gunmen, which has appeared inconsistent.
Not long ago President Assad of Syria, whose record for madness and violence is exemplary, was invited by the Prime Minister to stay at Buckingham Palace. And the rulers of Saudi Arabia, who recently got through 19 executions in one month, are sold billions of pounds worth of weapons. So maybe the gunmen’s strategy was to prove how mental they were, thinking they’d then be invited for biscuits with The Queen, and then be asked to do a deal for a tank.
I think Mark Steel’s comments were pointed and funny, even if I felt one sharp point he made, namely his reference to an Old Testament story (2 Kings chapter 2) about the prophet Elisha cursing some disrespectful children who God (not the prophet) then destroyed. And if there IS a God, Who expects that his rules include: “I have to protect those who attack me.”? If the world is dangerous, and you ditch your protection…? Now, The female bears coming out of the woods, just following Elisha’s cursing of the children, sure looked like more than coincidence and they looked like more than an instance of ‘no protection’. I will grant you that. But if these children were old enough to understand right from wrong – and these Hebrews were clearly very religiously educated – and if they were up to date on events surrounding the prophet Elisha and Elijah, which their expression of “Go up” clearly indicated they were, then the complexion of Elisha’s act of murder (by Steel’s characterization) changes somewhat, Doesn’t it? Did Elisha feel threatened? Did he have the right to ‘stand his ground’? Always factor bias into what authorities and cultural leaders tell you.
I have a problem with various scriptures in the holy book that I base my faith on. I’d be dishonest if I said I didn’t. I won’t automatically dismiss (or follow) those – including, often, those who I admire greatly – for pointing out that the Christian Bible seems to be okay, at least in some places, notably the Old Testament, with unjustifiable violence. And if I think that those critics, sometimes, are foul and/or ignorant, That’s their problem. I have my keyboard.
No one ever has to apologize – for anything. It’s a free universe. But there’s no light coming from Babylon The Great. (Babylon The Great means: this godless world’s organized religions, of ‘every’ faith, collectively.) That’s my opinion. It’s also my opinion that that’s a fact. The following is an excerpt from chapter 17 of the Bible book of Revelation:
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me: “Come, I will show you the judgment on the great prostitute who sits on many waters, with whom the kinds of the earth committed sexual immorality and earth’s inhabitants were made drunk with the wine of her sexual immorality”…
He said to me: “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is sitting, means peoples and crowds and nations and tongues. And the ten horns that you saw and the wild beast, These will hate the prostitute and will make her devastated and naked and they will eat up her flesh and completely burn her with fire. For God put it into their hearts to carry out his thought, Yes, to carry out their one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished. And the woman whom you saw means the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.”
That almost needs no explanation. But let’s go over it a bit. In ancient times, when the Hebrews (then later, Israel, then later Judah only) were God’s people (which is not as bad as it sounds), they had a staunch enemy in the Kingdom of Babylon, to the east of Jerusalem and Israel. Bablyonians did not worship Jehovah, even though they were introduced to him, in dramatic fashion, when Nebuchadnezzar ruled. Anyway, The Christian Bible uses that ancient enemy of God’s people, and God, to symbolize all those who oppose God on religious grounds. In other words, They view the true God as false and hold themselves up as worshippers of the true God. And note, That true God can be called anything, including ‘humankind’.
The Christian Bible indicates that this world’s destruction begins in earnest when the secular realm (kings and non religious people under their rule) turns on organized religion and destroys it. It’s turn comes next and with the destruction of this world’s ‘kings’, the rest of this godless system of things, including it’s main features (money), will be destroyed. It’s all one big ball of wax really and I view capitalism as just another religion.
Of course, Those who are drunk and are seeing double (and nothing but profits) think that they see perfectly fine. Shall we let them guide us to paradise?