Essay critical of Islam leaves teacher on run

Ed. So who is running France? The French or the Muslims?

Washington Times Tom Heneghan October 1, 2006

PARIS — A French teacher hiding from Islamist death threats says he has been abandoned by the Education Ministry and has to arrange for his own safe houses when police bodyguards move him every two days.

Robert Redeker went underground after publishing an attack on Islam on Sept. 19, in which he called the Koran “a book of incredible violence” and Islam’s prophet Muhammad “a merciless warlord, a looter, a butcher of Jews and a polygamist.”

Islam, Mr. Redeker said, “exalts violence and hate.”

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the threats against Mr. Redeker, who teaches philosophy in a suburban Toulouse high school, were intolerable and showed that “we live in a dangerous world that is often marked by intolerance.”

The threats came amid widespread criticism of Pope Benedict XVI by Muslims who accused him of implying in a speech that Islam was violent. And they coincided with the cancellation of a Mozart opera in Berlin out of fear of Muslim protests.

Speaking from an undisclosed location last week, Mr. Redeker, 52, said he felt alone and abandoned. “The Education Ministry has not deigned to contact me to ask if I need any help,” he said.

Mr. Redeker told Europe 1 radio he had no regrets and that asking critical questions was his job as a philosophy teacher.

French Muslim Council head Dalil Boubakeur denounced the threats and said: “Nobody can take the law into his own hands.”

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