Pope Francis made an unfortunate comment last week in relation to last week’s Paris massacres by Islamist terrorists.

He said to a journalist that “You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others”. Well yes, we can make fun of others’ ‘faith’. The Irish comedian Dave Allen made a career out of it – and without being insulting.

The Pope then made a comparison that was not valid. He added, “If my good friend Dr Gaspari says a curse word against my mother you can expect a punch”.

The Pope appears to be inadvertently making excuses for the inhuman killers who mercilessly gunned down the magazine staff and a defenseless policeman (a fellow Muslim by the way).  A grave personal insult might elicit a punch on the nose from some people;  but they don’t usually go home to get their kalashnikov in order to mow down all and sundry into the bargain.

And when can we stop talking about ‘faith’?  What is meant is ‘religion’, so let’s call it that. Religion is a set of ideas and people choose to believe in. All religions are a belief system. Those belief systems should not be above criticism – in the real meaning of the word as a ‘critique’, and  in the same what that political belief systems such as capitalism and communism are open to critique. Non-believers are not obliged to defer to ‘faith’ because believers believe that their dogmas are the revealed word of God.

Having said that Charlie Hebdo’s brand of ‘satire’ regarding other people’s region was particularly nasty, and not funny (unless something got lost in translation). But that is no excuse for cold-blooded slaughter of its authors and innocent parties

Meanwhile Piers Morgan has added his two-pennyworth and reportedly said, “If I can accept that the Paris murderers aren’t real Muslims why won’t the Muslim world say so too?”  Well many Muslims have said just that in fact .But who is Piers Morgan to say who is a real Muslim and who isn’t?

The real problem is that the extremists, fundamentalists, and terrorists actually take literally the bits in the Qur’an that say,“Urge the believers to fight… And kill them (unbelievers) wherever you find them” And “ I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve”  And so on and so forth in a similar vein.

Instead of puerile cartoons there has to be a real critique about religious beliefs. Normally this would be unimportant to non-believers, but it is important now because people are being blown-up, gunned down and beheaded as a consequence of those beliefs.

Article taken from Gerard Batten MEP’s blog, with his permission


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