The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Innocent Blood Flows on the Streets of Paris

The EDL extends its heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of the butchered journalists who have just paid the ultimate price for freedom of speech.

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was no stranger to attacks from Muslim radicals. At the beginning of November 2011, it survived having its Paris offices destroyed by a petrol bomb, a day after it named the Prophet Mohammed as its “editor-in-chief” for that week’s edition.

This time it’s the staff that have paid a heavy price for their bravery in speaking out against Islam. 12 people are now reported dead, with at least another 4 critically injured and the death toll is expected to rise.

The two attackers, apparently well trained in the use of the AK47 assault weapons they used in the attack, are reported to have shouted that their acts “restored the honour” of their prophet before escaping through the streets of Paris.

While French President Francois Hollande called the shooting a “terrorist attack without a doubt”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack as “abominable”, European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker called it a “brutal and inhuman attack” and our own Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack “sickening”, the media are continuing their efforts to avoid admitting that this attack was inspired by Islam.

How many signs saying ‘Behead those who insult Mohammed’ have to be paraded on our streets before our politicians take notice? How many lone wolf attacks have to take place before the authorities admit that wolves attack in packs?

In the words of French politician Philip Cordery: “Not only France, the whole of Europe is in shock today because by doing this horrendous act, the terrorists are once again attacking one of the important symbols of freedom, which is freedom of the press...”.

Like a join-the-dots puzzle, with attacks in Australia, Mumbai, Baghdad, London, New York, Boston and now Paris, how many more need to take place before someone calls attention to the drawing – not of a cartoon – but the hideous face of Islam?

Balises : 12, Charlie, Hebdo:, Journalists, Kuffarphobes, Muslim, blasphemy, execute, for

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Marine who organised Phoenix demo now going into hiding, along with his relatives, who have received death threats from The Religion of Peace.  After some Peaceful Muslims demanded he be killed, other Peaceful Muslims tweeted his home address.  And of course, our freedom-loving, violence-hating societies do nothing to protect the families of men like this ex-Marine or Tommy.

It's not mentioned in Islam's holy book, the Quran, but the religion's ban on depicting the Prophet Muhammad — even favorably — has run firm through the centuries.

Religious traditions built over the years have prohibited such depictions out of respect for Muhammad and to discourage idolatry, according to Muslim scholars and clerics. The ban is further rooted in a wider prohibition against images or statues of human beings.

There have been exceptions. A rich tradition of depicting Muhammad emerged in miniatures and illustrations for manuscripts from around 1200 to 1700. The art is mainly from Turkey and Iran, where pictorial traditions were stronger than in the Arab world. The paintings often show traditional stories from Muhammad's life, such as his journey to heaven, though in some the prophet's face is obscured by a veil or a plume of flame.

Shiites also differ from Sunnis by depicting Muhammad's son-in-law Ali, revered by Shiites who see him as the prophet's rightful successor. His image — and those of his sons Hassan and Hussein — are plentiful among Shiites, adorning posters, banners, jewelry and even keychains. For Sunnis, the ban on depictions extends beyond the prophet to his close companions and wives.

'The Prophet Muhammad enjoys sublime and supreme status among Muslims and it is impossible to let a normal person depict or act the role of the prophet,' said Iraqi Shiite cleric Fadhil al-Saadi. 'There is no confirmed information about the shape or the features of the Prophet ... So nobody should come up with a painting or an image of him. That would represent an insult to the status of the prophet.'

With no explicit text against depictions — or against images of humans in general — the prohibition comes from deduction by Muslim scholars and interpreters over the centuries from the collections of Hadeeth, or sayings and actions of Muhammad.

The prohibition against depicting humans and other living beings, which emerged from scholars as early as the 9th century, came from reported sayings of Muhammad, in some of which he refused to enter a room with such depictions or challenged their creators to breathe life into them. The presumption was that such art would suggest man can emulate God's powers of creation — and there were worries that statues in particular could encourage idolatry.

Islamic tradition is full of written descriptions of Muhammad and his qualities — describing him as the ideal human being. But clerics have generally agreed that trying to depict that ideal is forbidden. That puts satirical — and obscene — depictions like those in the French magazing Charlie Hebdo far beyond the pale.

While no one knows Muhammad's true appearance, followers of the relatively modern, ultraconservative Salafi movement in Islam seek to emulate him as closely as possible — including in what they believe to be his physical features and dress. Hardcore Salafis wear a beard without a moustache, let their hair grow long, line their eyes with kohl or wear robes stopping around mid-shin, contending that was the prophet's manner.

The ban also extends to his wives, daughters, sons-in-law, the first caliphs who succeeded him and his closest companions. In fact, Egypt's al-Azhar mosque, the Sunni world's foremost seat of religious learning, has complained when 'Mohammed, Messenger of God,' an epic 1970s Hollywood production, depicted the prophet's camel.

There is a thriving production of religious TV series in the Arab world depicting the times of the prophet. But Muhammad and his companions are never themselves shown. At times, a white light stands in for Muhammad in the films or in movie posters — and when they are meant to be addressing Muhammad, the actors usually speak into the camera.

So, which Hadiths are the basis for the non-depiction of Allah/Mohammed?

just a quick note: islamic texts saying Mohd can't be depicted

Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith: 7.834, 7.838, 7.840, 7.844, 7.846

Why are students now cheering about the massacre at Charlie Hebdo?

2 October 2015

I witnessed something genuinely disturbing at Trinity College Dublin last night: trendy, middle-class, liberal students cheering and whooping a man who had just given the closest thing I have yet heard to a justification for the massacre at Charlie Hebdo.

It was as part of a debate on the right to offend. I was on the side of people having the right to say whatever the hell they want, no matter whose panties it bunches. The man on the other side who implied that Charlie Hebdo got what it deserved, and that the right to offend is a poisonous, dangerous notion, was one Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee.

Bukhari defamed Charlie Hebdo as racist, the same dim-witted claim made by every Charliephobe who has clearly never seen an issue of this magazine that rails against the far right and prejudiced politicians.

He then offered us a potted history of French imperialism and brutality in Algeria. Why? As an explanation for why the murderers of Charlie Hebdo’s staff — who were of Algerian descent — did what they did.

There was a political context to their actions, he suggested, but the media ignored it in favour of depicting the killers as ‘brown savages’. Every time Bukhari mentioned Charlie Hebdo, he did so through gritted teeth, with a palpable sense of contempt; he spoke of Charlie Hebdo in the same breath as ‘white supremacism’. In contrast, he talked about the killers with what sounded a lot like sympathy, presenting them as the aggrieved products of French militarism in Algeria.

In his warped worldview, it’s almost as if Charlie Hebdowere the guilty party, a foul committer of Islamophobic speech crimes, and the killers were the victims — victims of history, victims of France, victims of prejudice, driven by political anger. The murdered are the oppressors; the murderers the victims. Real through-the-looking-glass stuff.


I stood up to make a point of order. I wanted to ask if he felt that perhaps he was apologising for mass murder, justifying it even. But he wouldn’t take my point. So, somewhat impertinently — hey, I was pretty angry by this point — I interjected: ‘This is an apology for murder.’ His response? To accuse me of racism. To suggest that, like the rest of the media, I was treating Muslims as ‘brown savages’. Because of course, if you ask a difficult question of a Muslim in the public eye who is talking a colossal amount of rubbish then you must secretly hate all Muslims. What a cheap, reactionary shot: shut down criticism by playing the racism card.

Also, can we ponder the eye-swivelling irony of my being accused of racism by a man who once sent money to Holocaust denier and anti-Semite David Irving? In 2006, Bukhari sent £60 to Irving as part of his ‘fight for the Truth’. He encouraged Irving to continue to ‘expose certain falsehoods perpetrated by the Jews’. Yeah, sorry, I’m not taking lectures about racism from a man who funded Jew-hatred.

But there was something even more disturbing than Bukhari’s comments on Charlie Hebdo — the audience’s response.

It is of course in the interests of a representative of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee to exaggerate the hatred and difficulties faced by Muslims in Europe, because these unrepresentative community groups derive their moral authority from claiming to speak on behalf of a beleaguered, victimised minority.

So they’re inexorably drawn towards ratcheting up the victim narrative, to trawling for more and more examples of slights against Muslims, to treating as ‘Islamophobia’ everything from a scurrilous cartoon that mocks Muhammad (not ordinary Muslims) to a newspaper article that describes Osama bin Laden as an ‘Islamic terrorist’ (seriously). Because victimology is their fuel; it sustains their outfits and boosts their standing in public life. There’s a logic — a perverse logic — to their hysterical claims about widespread Muslim-hate.

But the audience at last night’s debate was not part of any cynical, self-styled community group. They were young. They were mainly liberals. They were pretty cool. Some were painfully PC. And yet some of them — a significant chunk of them — cheered Bukhari’s explanation for the Charlie killers’ actions, and applauded his suggestion that my question must have been motivated by racism.

During my speech, students had hollered ‘Shame! Shame!’ when I suggested that Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ should not be banned on campuses. And yet they listened intently, with soft, understanding, patronising liberal smiles on their faces, as Bukhari implied thatCharlie Hebdo brought its massacre on itself. This is how screwed-up the culture on Western campuses has become: I was jeered for suggesting we shouldn’t ban pop songs; Bukhari was cheered for suggesting journalists who mock Muhammad cannot be surprised if someone later blows their heads off.

It provided a glimpse into the inhumanity of political correctness. The PC gang always claim they’re just being nice; it’s just ‘institutionalised politeness’, they say. Yet at Trinity last night I saw where today’s intolerance of offence and obsession with Safe Spacing minorities from difficult ideas can lead: to an agreeable nod of the head when it is suggested that it’s understandable when poor, victimised Muslims murder those who offended them.

No, a PC student at such a prestigious college as Trinity is very unlikely to kill you for being offensive. But if someone else does, they won’t be outraged or upset. They’ll think you had it coming. Nice? Polite? Please. Political correctness is murderous.

You can read Brendan O’Neill’s speech at Trinity here.

Has France's Charlie Hebdo's legacy gone sour?

  • 13 October 2015
Tributes near the Charlie Hebdo offices more than a month after the terrorist attacks in February 2015 in Paris, France.Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage captionAfter the murders, Charlie Hebdo's surviving staff left their Paris offices for a temporary home at Liberation newspaper

Paris attacks

Last January, gunmen stormed the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and shot 12 people dead. Another five were killed in a related attack on a Jewish supermarket elsewhere in Paris.

The shootings prompted an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, and a flood of financial support, but nine months on has that legacy begun to sour?

It was, as much as anything, a story of survival; of the bravery and friendship highlighted by the horrific attack.

Media captionZineb el-Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo journalist: ''I think that we will face more and more censorship... more and more fear''

Survivors spoke of the close ties between staff members. A few days after her colleagues had died, reporter Zineb el-Rhazoui told me those left behind had "wanted to meet, wanted to touch each other". Creating the next issue of the paper was a way of honouring the bonds they felt as a team, she said.

Nine months on, the focus has switched to infighting and resignations at Charlie Hebdo. It was like watching a football team in transfer season, said one French journalist.

Over the past few weeks, the paper's senior cartoonist, Luz - the man who designed that famous green cover of the first edition after the attacks - has announced his resignation. And columnist Patrick Pelloux has announced he will leave by the end of the year.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, Renald Luzier (C) aka Luz and Patrick Pelloux (R), Charlie Hebdo journalist, during the Charlie Hebdo press conference held at the Liberation offices in Paris on January 13, 2015 in Paris, FranceImage copyrightGetty ImagesImage captionThe paper's senior cartoonist, Luz, and columnist Patrick Pelloux (R) have announced they are leaving the paper

"Charlie Hebdo died on 7 January, and part of us died with the victims," Mr Pelloux told me.

"We had to go on, to show our courage. But being strong is also about being able to turn a page and letting others take on the fight. Charlie Hebdo is dead. Today there is a new Charlie Hebdo - one that has become a world symbol of free speech and good journalism."

Shortly after the attacks, more than a million people marched through the streets of Paris to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

Almost overnight, the paper and its staff became a worldwide symbol for free speech. And that is a lot of pressure for anyone, says Laurent Joffrin, editor of France's Liberation newspaper.

"A working-class hero is a hard thing to be, and a freedom of speech hero is a hard thing to be," he says. "They were not trained to become that - they were trained to do drawings in their small paper."

For most of the next nine months, Charlie Hebdo's small team of staff worked out of the offices of the French newspaper Liberation.

Now they have just moved to a new permanent home. But Mr Joffrin says the continued security risk still weighs heavy on every member of staff.

"The threat against them is very high," he told me.

"Every Islamist in the world dreams of killing one of those guys. And so they have to live in their apartments with their curtains closed because they're afraid of snipers. They live in the dark. And it's probably going to last the rest of their lives. It shows that those who go on are especially courageous."

Mr Joffrin says the paper has not changed its values as a result of the attack.

French cartoonist Riss (2nd R) stands alongside the general secretary of NGO Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) Christophe Deloire (1st R) and financial director of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Eric Portheault (3rd R), during the unveiling of a stone in honour of the war reporters killed in 2015 in the war reporters' memorial, on 8 October 2015 in Bayeux, north-western France, during the annual Bayeux-Calvados war journalism award weekImage copyrightAFPImage captionCharlie Hebdo cartoonist Riss (2nd R) attend the unveiling of a stone in honour of war reporters killed in 2015, including Charlie Hebdo journalists killed in the attack

But others disagree. Both Luz and the paper's new director, Riss, have said they are not drawing the Prophet Mohammed anymore.

Reporter Zineb el-Rhazoui says she is worried that security fears are prompting a change of editorial direction.

"I wonder if this is a kind of withdrawal, in order to make the terrorists more serene, and forget us. If it is such a strategy, I believe it's a wrong strategy because when you accept the limits they want to put on you, they will put other limits on you."

Zineb el-Rhazoui, along with 14 other staff, published an open letter earlier this year, calling for the paper to stay true to its values.

But the editorial disputes, common to any media organisation, have been complicated by another, unexpected consequence of the January attack: money.

"It's complicated things," she says.

"Charlie Hebdo was a poor newspaper before the attacks, and after 7 January we received money from everywhere, a lot of money. We became one of the richest newspapers in France. And the problem is that the money and the power to make decisions are concentrated in the hands of just two shareholders."

The attacks killed three of the paper's five shareholders, including its founder and director, Charb.

The surviving shareholders, including Riss, have said that 100% of the profits from this year will be reinvested into the paper.

Donations will be divided up among the victims and their families - but even that is causing disputes over how to share out the funds.

For some, the human loss on 7 January has also meant the loss of something essential at the paper. To paraphrase Patrick Pelloux: Charlie Hebdo is dead, long live Charlie Hebdo.

Grey line

Paris attack victims:

Charlie Hebdo offices:

  • Charlie Hebdo editor and cartoonist Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, 47, who had been living under police protection since receiving death threats
  • Cartoonists Jean "Cabu" Cabut, 76, Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac, 57, Georges Wolinski, 80, and Philippe Honore, 73
  • Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist, the only woman killed
  • Economist and regular magazine columnist Bernard Maris, 68, known to readers as Uncle Bernard
  • Michel Renaud, visiting from the city of Clermont-Ferrand
  • Mustapha Ourrad, proof-reader
  • Police officer Ahmed Merabet, 42, who was shot dead in a nearby street after the attack
  • Frederic Boisseau, 42, caretaker, in the reception area at the time of the attack
  • Franck Brinsolaro, 49, a police officer who acted as Charb's bodyguard

Montrouge shooting

  • Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 27, policewoman killed in the suburb of Montrouge

HyperCacher supermarket:

  • Yohan Cohen, 20, worked at kosher supermarket
  • Philippe Braham, 45, business manager for an IT company
  • Yoav Hattab, 21, student
  • Francois-Michel Saada, 64, former pension fund manager


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Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

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These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
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