Liberty Faced with Blasphemy – Robert Redeker and Islamophobia

Robert Redeker’s life has changed a lot in the past four months – since the 19th of September, to be exact. Until then, his students in Toulouse knew him as a philosophy teacher, his friends from the Temps Modernes knew him as a member of their editorial committee, and the main Parisian editors knew him as the author of eclectic and provocative pieces. Until the fatal 19th of September: on this date, Le Figaro published an article by Redeker that violently denounced Islam as a religion that exalted “violence and hate”, and Mohammed, “the impitiable war-monger, pillager, killer of jews, and polygamist.” The next day, he was called out vindictively by an influential Muslim newscaster (on al-Jazeera), referred to as the “islamophobe du jour”, and deluged with letters and messages that became more and more violent, and finally issued a death threat by a website considered close to al-Qaida.

From Normale Superieur to Sufism, and Back

Islam must find its place in the West. Abdennour Pierre Bidar, professor of philosophy, is persuaded of this and wants to convince us as well. But his Islam is particular – it is the result of a long personal path that has let him to consider himself today as an atypical muslim, a “polka-dotted zebra” who believes in a divine presence and in individual liberty. He is against those who lock themselves into submission to the religious law and to “the mortal idea of jihad”.