Sinister forces shutting down blogs in France

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
David Thomson's provocative dictum, that there is more free speech in Iran than in France, may be proving true. Tiberge reports on two recent instances of French blogs under attack, here and here.

Last night at the swimming pool, my octogenerian friend, a retired United Church of Canada minister and hardcore left-liberal type, was speaking of the need for France to get its economic and political house together and join the 21st century. The talk was uncharacteristic for him; if he can change, maybe even the French can.

UPDATE: here.


David Thomson said...

“David Thomson's provocative dictum, that there is more free speech in Iran than in France”

Slight correction: there may be “more free speech in Iran than in France.” I can use mealy mouth qualifiers with the best of them! The Iranian authorities may physically torture and kill you---but the French leftist establishment can often accomplish the same results by financially bankrupting and imprisoning those who violate its politically correct dogmas.

David Thomson said...

“...if he can change, maybe even the French can.”

This gentleman is retired. He can now afford to look at this conundrum in an analytical and dispassionate manner. It essentially costs him nothing. Not so, for the younger people of France and the rest of Old Europe. It’s their problem---and not his. They must live out their own lives. Have they experienced a religious revival? If not, they will unlikely have large families. Babies are a pain in the rear end. Little puppies and kittens are far easier to take care of. The French youth also seem lazy and unwilling to live a “precarious” existence. No, these folks are royally screwed. Do you believe in miracles? That’s about the only thing which might save them.

truepeers said...

David, you think it must be a religious revival, eh, not just a nationalist and republican revival? You may be right. But what if the French all became Oriana Fallaci style atheists?

Speaking of religion, there is a recent article by two senior Catholic scholars whose argument is being billed as the semi-official position of the Vatican. Here is a quote from an excerpt in a Chiesa article, neatly titled Oriana Fallaci Has Enrolled in the Society of Jesus. The quoted article takes the position that you may be wise to insist on your wiggle words:

Islam is not compatible with liberal democracies for stronger and deeper reasons than those that usually come to mind: it is not only a question of polygamy, the veil, Friday religious observance, etc. That is, it is not only a problem of the rules of behavior, morals, and worship. It is seen in how Islam functions on its home turf. In Iran, there are mullahs who are appointed to supervise morality. And apart from peering into the bedroom, many more of them scrutinize the cinema, the press, and books: this is the monitoring of the public expressions of thought, which are censured if they are not in conformity with shari’a or the Qur’an and its official interpretation. A professor cannot say what he likes at school, and if an intellectual publishes his own views, he is taking a risk.

By way of explaining this issue, it is true that the Church did not abolish the index of prohibited books until Vatican II, but before it was abolished this institution did not carry any weight in civil affairs. That’s not how it is in Islam. Religious censure is “ipso facto” civil censure, because the religious authorities have civil authority, and vice versa. The entire spectrum of these and other related facts calls for intellectual honesty on our part, because we cannot interpret them as isolated cases devoid of general significance. And if these are not isolated cases, only one conclusion can be drawn: the word “freedom” did not exist in Arabic for centuries because Islamic civilization simply makes no provision for it (it was introduced with the word “hurriyya,” meaning “entitlement,” only in 1774, and out of the necessity of signing treaties with Westerners). So the absolutism of Saudi Arabia or other emirates, the legal inferiority of women and so forth, are not correctible eccentricities. They are the effects of a deep-rooted cause, which cannot be removed without destroying Islam. And this is why these eccentricities are so fiercely defended: because they have an intrinsic relationship with Muslim identity. And therefore integration can be achieved with Muslims on an individual basis, but not with Islam.

David Thomson said...

"But what if the French all became Oriana Fallaci style atheists?"

Oriana Fallaci is childless. Only religious people tend to bring in a lots of children into the world.