Saturday, January 10, 2015

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The Absolute Blasphemy: Murder in the Name of a Deity

Nothing justifies the taking of life. Those who have killed in the name of our religion today claim to be avenging the insults made against Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace. But nothing is more immoral, offensive and insulting against our beloved Prophet than such a callous act of murder - Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

Today saw me back in Dublin for the second time this week for the same type of thing: solidarity with the Parisians done to death last Wednesday by the goondas of clerical fascism. This morning's event in the grounds of Dublin Castle was organised by the NUJ, a body of which I am a member despite various attempts to have me booted out, ironically, for observing the precepts of freedom of expression.

A couple of hundred people turned out brandishing Je Suis Charlie posters on a sunny but cold morning. The Garda Commissioner was there as were government ministers, newspaper editors, journalists and the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The French ambassador to Ireland was also on the platform and addressed the crowd. It was a pretty high profile turn out. The Irish establishment it seems has signed up to the concept of free speech having previously spent decades devising and implementing censorship and blasphemy laws.

My disdain for the Labour Party notwithstanding, I was glad to see Tanaiste Joan Burton on the platform. I think it is important that government figures publicly commit themselves to freedom of expression so that when the moment comes, as it assuredly shall, it can be made harder for them to introduce the censorious measures that will further muzzle society and prevent it discussing in depth the things that concern it.  I could not desist from wondering if she had the same thoughts I was having about her party’s history of suppressing freedom of expression most notably through Conor Cruise O’Brien, the country’s most notorious censor in modern times. I further contemplated how Frances Fitzgerald might reconcile her support for free speech with her plans to introduce new laws aimed at muzzling ideas she does not like. 

If that sounds churlish too bad, but I am allowed to say it because free speech is chic  this week.  We know ministers blow hot and cold, tell you what they think you want to hear rather than what you need to know, their commitment to anything honourable, invariably transient. During the summer when I stood in Drogheda protesting Israeli terrorism and the mass slaughter of mostly Muslim civilians, there were no Labour or Fine Gael luminaries in sight. But there were no cameras either, which perhaps explains it.

This morning, the names of the nine journalists, two police officers and the caretaker who died were read out by two members of the French community in Ireland. The secretary of the Irish NUJ, Seamus Dooley, commented on the location, right beside the Chester Beatty Library, as “a symbol of creativity and multiculturalism where the jewel in the crown is the 6,000 piece Islamic collective, which reflects the true spirit of Islam.” Dooley described Wednesday’s events in Paris as the absolute blasphemy, murder in the name of a deity. He also recalled Veronica Guerin and Martin O’Hagan, Irish journalists murdered because of the job they did.

The wider threat to journalists was a theme revisited by NUJ Irish chair Gerry Curran:
In the past two decades 2,000 media workers, 900 of whom were journalists died as a result of work related incidents. Only 30 per cent died as a result of being caught in cross fire or in a war or crisis zone. 70 per cent or over 600 journalists have been targeted and murdered in the past twenty years. Many more have been seriously threatened, injured or tortured. We live in a world where journalists are the prey of those who do not want their activities reported.

It was important that the Irish NUJ organised today's event. When journalism is tardy in rallying to the defence of journalists, others will hardly step into the breach a la galloping cavalry. About now Seamus Dooley should be in France, where he will be meeting with fellow journalists and attending the unity March in Paris tomorrow. Irish journalism, much battered by censorship laws, and not always robust in pushing back, is asserting where it stands on this very important matter.

Come Monday the matter should not be laid to rest with the dead as they are placed in their graves. The NUJ should now do two things:

  • press to have the Irish Blasphemy Law consigned to the Ark. 
  • publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in its own magazine, The Journalist
Then we can really claim to be Charlie.


Anonymous said...

LIAR! TAQIYYA!! KITMAN!! Achtung: Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
RE: ‘But nothing is more immoral, offensive and insulting against our beloved Prophet than such a callous act of murder’
REALLY? Well the murderers were following hadith were they not and here is what your so called ‘peaceful prophet’ commands:
• Hadith 9:4 "Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."
• Hadith 19:4294 "Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war."
You are a LIAR!
There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstance taqiyya and kitman which advance the cause of Islam. NB Gaining the trust of non-believers in order to cash in on their naivety and ultimately defeat them.

NB Shuja Shafi here’s a small refresher in what your ‘peaceful prophet’ has stated/demanded… Would ye care to address these COMMANDS/DICTATES? Also how about addressing hadith on women and what subjugation is approved? Or would you prefer to engage in more taqiyya?
• Hadith 1:13-- "I have been ordered by Allah to fight with people till they bear testimony to the fact that there is no God but Allah."
• Hadith 1.24 "Narrated Ibn `Umar: Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers"
• Hadith 1.25"Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle was asked, "What is the best deed?" He replied, "To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, "What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, "To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah's Cause."
• Hadith 19:4294 "Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war."
• Hadith 1:35 "The person who participates in Allah's cause (namely, in battle). . will be recompensed by Allah either with reward or booty or will be admitted to Paradise."
• Hadith 9:4 "Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection."
• Hadith 9:50, 57 "No Umma (a member of Muslim community) should be killed for killing a Kafir (an infidel). . Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him."
• Sahih Muslim 4363: "You (the Jews) should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle and I wish to expel you from this land (Arabia)
• Sahih Muslim 4366 Narrated by Umar ibn al-Khattab. Umar heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims

DaithiD said...

Its like the captain of the Titanic being wheeled out to assure the passengers the ship isn’t sinking. Did anyone ask this MCB guy if he was in favour of the principle of the cartoons to be allowed to be drawn? Not to support the cartoons per se (he realistically cant), but the ability to draw the cartoons? Being “against” the killings in not the same thing, if he is following Islamic doctrine, which he cannot deviate too far from, he will oppose the killing for the harm it will call to the Muslim community in general (in terms of reprisal against them), or the attack took the life and property of the perpetrators wholly. He might articulate care for the kuffar, which isn’t in Islamic doctrine at all, lying about it is though (taqiya mentioned above).
Its an error to not investigate what each representative is getting from association with movements like this, especially when it prevents proper investigation of the circumstances

PS I know if you insert the words Muslim into Nazi rhetoric instead of Jew its uncomfortably close to the critique of Islam and is reflexively repulsive, but if you insert the word Jew into leftist talk of bankers today it too reads the same as Nazi propaganda, so that restraint should apply to either,and wont work on me any longer.

AM said...

From Tiarna

An excellent piece on censorship. And I agree with your poke at the NUJ and its duplicity.

I have niggling doubt though about what should a journalist do if they are genuinely afraid? Not all journalists are made of steel and will face jail or death in the name of their profession .... some just aren't that committed.

AM said...


it was not a criticism of the NUJ for duplicity as such because the union ultimately on two occasions dealt with the matter wholly satisfactorily. My point was about newspaper institutions and journalists who would seek to use the union for the purposes of censoring others.

I was deeply moved yesterday by Seamus Dooley's short address yesterday and told him as much after the event.

I remember from my days as a believer the old Christian observation that god would not hand you a cross that you could not carry. I think in terms of your point there is a parallel. Courage is a finite resource and should be used prudently. People are genuinely afraid and we have to understand that. But even with that fear it is much better that we state it as fear rather than dress it up as respect. That will lead to a more healthy debate. And it will help us better understand why people are afraid and how that fear is deliberately cultivated by the theocrats so that they might easier force compliance to their will.

Any frightened journalist, writer, artist, has my deepest understanding. We want to live for our work not die for it.

John McGirr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John McGirr said...

In regard to the relative gravity of murder and blasphemy, Saint Thomas Aquinas states:
“[if] we compare murder and blasphemy as regards the objects of those sins, it is clear that blasphemy, which is a sin committed directly against God, is more grave than murder, which is a sin against one's neighbour. On the other hand, if we compare them in respect of the harm wrought by them, murder is the graver sin, for murder does more harm to one's neighbour, than blasphemy does to God.”
In this instance there was no real blasphemy, as Mohammed is no more than a man and thus cannot be the object of blasphemy. There was, however, real murder.

AM said...


you religious lunatic!!

Good to see you around John. Interesting take.

John McGirr said...

'Religious lunatic'.

Ha ha. I haven't gone away, you know!

AM said...

Never thought you would be too far away John. Hope all is well with you.

John McGirr said...

All good here, Anthony. Happy New Year to all at the PQ, albeit belated.

AM said...

And of course to you and yours John

Anonymous said...

@ John McGirr is in the house hehe I figured u would be about... Did u know John there is a parallel re Islam and Catholic Church/Catholicism?
Well it's this - you can check out but one can never really leave... The indoctrination either melts ur head with fear and guilt &/or you are an apostate/heretic with an eye in the back of ur head...

I think you should study old Irish language instead of Latin... its harder than Latin but more culturally pertinent.

Did u know the Orthodox churches do a different sign of the cross than the Catholic way?
I only found out recently... I bet the rc way we was taught was devilish Its great being an ex catholic John Its liberty.... Try it out Iosa knew... religion sucked.

Now I am leaving hoping my first comment got u in a twist of rage (insert a chortle of mirth)
slan agus beannacht

Anonymous said...

Depictions of Mohammed were common up until the 17th century… If you are Muslim reading this the images of Mohammed face are centuries old and created by Muslim artists
Excerpt with link below:
‘In 1999, Islamic art expert Wijdan Ali wrote a scholarly overview of the Muslim tradition of depicting Mohammed, Ali demonstrates that the prohibition against depicting Mohammed did not arise until as late as the 16th or 17th century, despite the media's recent false claims that it has always been forbidden for Muslims to draw Mohammed. Until comparatively recently in Islamic history, it was perfectly common to show Mohammed, either in full (as revealed on this page), or with his face hidden (as shown on the next page). Even after the 17th century, up to modern times, Islamic depictions of Mohammed (especially in Shi'ite areas) continued to be produced.

On this page are many examples of full-faced Mohammed portraits produced by Muslim artists across the centuries. Attributions for each image are given where known.'

Don’t know how to embed link Just copy link into Google Name of site is Mohammed Image Archive

Anonymous said...

@ J McGirr after thought after musing on Aquinas... he is right btw. Christians in the middle east are being slaughtered like cattle... I don't care what denomination they - they are our martyrs... our bro's & sisters in Christ. The times are evil... Too bad for those who don't want to see the spiritual dimension... Islamic state are sons of satan with a blood lust that is insatiable Sin-e

John McGirr said...

Hi Mary, no rage here. I think I agree with almost everything that you have written. Yes, there is a great similarity with Islam and Catholicism, yes I would love to study old Irish, yes I know the 'Orthodox' have a different Sign of the Cross, yes, I know that there are many Christian martyrs being slaughtered like cattle. What really amuses me though is that I think that you and Anthony are both closer to 'Pope Francis' than I am. Does that make you both more Catholic than me? It is a strange world.

Anonymous said...

@ John McGirr Anthony is a staunch atheist though whereas I am a Christian non affiliated with any religion tho leanings twds orthodoxy. Big dif. As for pope francis - they have just wheeled out a different image as a front but still the same antics in the Vatican... He appeals to the masses with his kindly demeanour. BUT I AINT FOOLED... I think is head looks like a big animated potato. The word Catholic just means Universal.

In Mosul & Syria when IS painted the Nazarani sign on Christians houses... Leave, convert to Islam or die etc I knew it was going get bigger and worse...
It is sll linked up from Boko H to IS etc They want us all under a Caliphate. I talked to a Muslim friend about it but she got tearful and so upset I just shut up...

Eventually in the West to be a Christian will mean u r willing to die for your belief. Be executed. Might sound dramatic but time will tell... I never put much emphasis on symbols til of late but now I u/stand the cross symbol is beautiful...
Our bros and sisters in Christ that IS crucified... they did it to mock their faith... But spirit is stronger than flesh... They wont ever take our faith just our EARTHLY lives...

Nazarani Orthodox This is TOTALLY beautiful Qurbana St Thomas the once doubter founder of this
Note the celtic designs on robes
Dunno how to embed link

Just google this or copy below link into google ---> 'Holy Mass ISSAC MOR OSTHATIOUS at RAJADI RAJA ST; MARY'S JACOBITE SYRIAN CHURCH'