Wednesday, 7 January 2015


I feel completely numbed and almost disorientated by the events of today in France. I have huge sympathy for the families and friends of those who have been killed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. I am sure there will be much written about this in the coming hours and days but I think Salman Rushdie has pretty much captured by feelings on the subject........

Statement from Salman Rushdie, British author

Posted at
"Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms.

This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.

I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity.

Respect for religion' has become a code phrase meaning 'fear of religion.' Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect."

I think the countries that value freedom can no longer allow religion and the religious to think that their beliefs take precedence over the thoughts and feelings of rational people. In all media reports the word 'religion' should be replaced by superstition' and the act of 'praying' should be referred to as what it is 'hoping'.

If the countries that are socially, scientifically, educationally, democratically, advanced don't stand up for the human rights and dignities of women, homosexuals, the disabled, the poor and the religiously oppressed, then  we are failing.

Blasphemy is a victimless crime

If we can't all agree on that then we are not as advanced as we think we are.........

Updated 9th Jan 2015

Although there has been a huge rallying in support of the staff of Charlie Hebdo and cartoon satirists everywhere, there has been a disappointing reluctance to reproduce the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of several years ago that caused this so-called offense and outrage, so I applaud the American Humanists for doing so......
There are still those media commentators who seem to think that it is offensive to ridicule religion, but surely that it the point of all of this. Religion is ridiculous. Why should silly superstitions be exempt from scrutiny and questioning, they have managed to silence such challenges for hundreds of years through control of information and punishment for non-believers in order to maintain their privileged social and political position.

......and it continued today in Saudi Arabia with a liberal blogger flogged and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Saudi Arabia where non-belief for people 'born Muslim' (which actually means born to Muslim parents as all children are born atheist) is punishable by death, and where they 'tolerate' other faiths but not atheists, and atheism is treated as terrorism. This is because non-belief in any higher supernatural power is more dangerous than belief in another imaginary friend, because rational thought might catch on.

The further events in France today has shown what the 'West' is up against in trying to understand the motivations behind such mindless acts of violence. Acts that achieve nothing to further any identifiable cause. It looks to me that this 'group' were determined to take innocent life for whatever sick and misguided reason and Charlie Hebdo may have been the target this time, but really it's just random acts of violence.

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