Monday 12 January 2015


I don't know if you have yet been whooshed from Jill Havern's but I have taken the liberty of copying your post here for those who are following the Charlie Hebdo debate:

'Just decided to stop on Jill havern as I felt this forum has some incredible discriminating post on a specific community and I feel that I did not want to be identified with it anymore. I hope I will be welcome here!'


Hi Sofa and a big welcome from me too :)

I'm just catching up reading the thread in the other place, and astonished is my first reaction!  Well done you in putting forward your opinion so eloquently and rationally in the face of such ignorance and prejudice.  The little englanders are out in force and once more giving the impression that we are indeed a nation of small minded shopkeepers.

I find it so difficult to comprehend the reasoning behind the pure hatred that these people have for anything alien to themselves, they don't understand it, therefore it must be hated and shooed away from the rest of the tribe.  Their God (who no-one can see) is bigger and more powerful than the aliens' God (who no-one can see), so someone among the righteous (the larger group) rallies the troops and we have war!

I used to be anti-theist, because the idea of worshipping someone unseen is absurd, and because all the atrocities committed in the name of 'my God is bigger than your God' are some form of manmade evil that goes beyond my comprehension.  In my opinion every society needs a religion to keep the population in check and threatening them with an eternity burning in hell usually does the trick. 

I do however respect the right of people to hold beliefs, its a tough old life and who and what can we turn to in our darkest hours if we have no God?  Religion also provides a community and social interaction for those who might otherwise be isolated, it gives a sense of belonging - its the excluding bit that I find distasteful. Some people turn to booze and drugs, some take their woes to a higher power, whatever gets you through the night, say I.  However, its when 'a few' start to insist that everyone share their beliefs that sticks in my craw, or indeed when they demand that the rest of us respect these manmade deities to the point of insanity. They are asking, nay demanding, that we give the cuddly toy a kiss goodnight and treat it as part of the family as if we were trying to get a 4 year old off to sleep.  The objects and images are no more 'real' than the teddy bear and we don't beat up other people for saying it's not, even if it does upset Precious. 

Those demanding that 'The State' protect their deities from ridicule have been around since the first group of wannabe alpha males got together and made a plan to take control.  Its a tribal thing.  The majority of Muslims are peace loving, family loving, community loving, citizens, just like their Christian and Jewish neighbours.

What people take offence at, is a very personal thing, it comes from the heart.  The only way in which I can explain it, is to compare it to the way we respond if anyone (outside of the family) criticizes or attacks our children.  We are overtaken by ferocious desire to kill, well I am lol, that is beyond our control. It is a primevil response that bypasses logic and rational.  Some people are able to take the ferocity aroused and apply it to a cause and a God, but its usually for self aggrandisement.  Mr. Bennett is a typical example, in having a 'cause' Mr. Bennett is not seen as promoting himself, it is something for him to hide behind.  His xenophobia stems not from a need to protect his family and his community, but rather from his need to be seen as doing so. 

Imo, the fury he is using, is driving him insane, he has enemies approaching on every front.  He has jumped on the Charlie Hebdo bandwagon, but once again, he has jumped on the wrong bandwagon.  He misreads public opinion, and has taken the actions of a few to a condemn the many, and in doing so he has drawn others out of the woodwork.  I have to smile at the irony of Tony fighting for Free Speech, try speaking freely on Haverns and see where it gets you!  Like the McCanns, its the very last thing he wants!  :) 

As you rightly pointed out Sofa, these lunatics represent no-one, other than similarly minded lunatics.  Birds of a feather and all that, and perfectly illustrated on forums such as Stop the Myths and now Jill Haverns.  Surprised at how few spoke up for you, and once more disappointed that the otherwise intelligent poster Petermac is so deeply entrenched in such prejudiced thinking.  Sadly, I think he is greatly influenced by his background and ideas that once dominated police thinking. 

But I digress, it seems the Christian soldiers are out in force over there Sofa, and you never really stood a chance.  Common sense, reason and logic is usually followed by a ban.  I hope they haven't banned you, because at the moment you are way ahead in the polls, and defeating their arguments hands down  :) '

My deepest, heartfelt sympathy meanwhile goes out to those murdered by those criminals, I imagine their families and loved ones must still be in a terrible state of shock.  Those incredible, creative people simply carried on the tradition of their forebears, those brave men and women in revolutionary France who used cartoon, satire and wit to overturn the barbaric, inhumane regime that kept the majority of the population crippled by poverty and injustice.  Albeit, they replaced it with a similar regime of barbarity and inhumanity, but tis the thesis, antithesis etc.  I'm always a tad disappointed that the 18th century Brits lacked the rebellious spirit of their sexy voiced neighbours, and secretly wished I had a bit of Parisian in my gene pool, hearing La Marseilles always brings a lump to my throat. 

Meanwhile, I pray to whatever God there may be to bless the victims and their families at this time and let sanity prevail.  This was an attack on Freedom of Speech, it had nothing to do with religion.  I suspect Charlie Hebdo had many enemies, the sorrow lies in those who are using this atrocity to stir up racial hatred against the majority of Muslims who are just as appalled as the rest of us. 


  1. You are very wrong Cristobell, to use this person and your blog to take yet another blow at Tony Bennett and Jill Haverns forum, if you don't ease off you will lose all credibility.

    I can understand both sides of the argument but at the same time realise there is a lot more to this than one God against another. You really need to be a Muslim raised and living within in Islamic state to understand their culture and how it affects every aspect of their lives, not a diluted version probably born and raised in Europe or the Americas and therefore accustomed to totally different cultural influences.

    My opinion only, the Charlie Hebdo atrocity is nothing to do with 'freedom of speech' but everything to do with mocking the faith of one of the worlds leading religions. I'm not condoning the way it was handled, only trying to rationalise a situation which has spiralled way out of control. However wacky it might seem to a non-believer, followers of Islam (as with many other religions and cults) believe unreservedly in their faith so it's totally unacceptable for infidels to mock their beliefs. It does nothing to promote harmony does it?

    You have your opinions on the subject as others have their own opinions, there can be no superior intellect on such a subject, it's so complex there is no room for superficial argument.

    1. What your trying to tell us is Muslims do not have a sense of Humour why are they so serious all the time why do they not have a sense of Humour they call it mocking we call it Humour

    2. @ Anon 12th January 10:59 "we call it Humour" !

      Who are 'we' and why a capital h? Surely your are not presuming to speak for the general public?

      This is not about humour (or at least shouldn't be), it's about insulting the image of the ultimate foundation of Islam. I'm not a religious freak but I can appreciate the importance of faith to those who believe and I can understand why they take offence at mockery of their deity.

      However, as I said, this is not a subject for general opinion about the rights and wrongs of any particular outlook on life nor am I looking for a fight. I appreciate your right to individual opinion and your right to have a rip roaring laugh at whatever tickles your fancy but perhaps for world peace and harmony it's better to keep it to yourself or within your own circle of like minded people.

    3. Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God, to religious or holy persons or things, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable.

    4. We = non muslim and no am not speaking for the general public am speaking for myself the same way u are its called free speech i respect muslim right to there religion but do not expect me to respect it this is a religion that stones women to death so it is open to criticism and should not be kept to our own circle of friends the whole world should know about it and it does have everything to do with peoples outlook on life.

    5. Anon @ 12th January 2015 19:08

      With respect, your reply is somewhat contradictory. You say you are not speaking for the general public but speaking for yourself, yet in the same text your clarify the use of the word 'we' to mean all non-Muslims, are you in fact representing all non-Muslims? I am not a Muslim but I do not consider the subject under discussion to be 'humour' so it would be appreciated if you don't take it upon yourself to speak on my behalf!

      I don't ask that you respect Islam, that is your personal choice but if your judgement is confined to what you read in the press, I strongly suggest that you avoid public debate on the subject untill such times as you have a greater understanding. As I said originally, not a subject for superficial argument but if you're looking for someone to blame, take a look at European government who have allowed this situation to escalate and never forget, the problem of terrorism is certainly not the only issue that has been allowed to spiral out of control because of governmental failure. Failure to safeguard it's own people while pandering to evil.

      I wonder where these terrorists get their weapons from?

  2. Where have the "Paris" threads gone on bennett's forum?

    They don't appear in the latest topics in the portal?

    1. Only registered members can see them now.

  3. Freedom of speech is only partly to do with why people have become incensed (particularly as the French authorities have arrested someone speaking out in favour of one of the murderers).
    It`s not particularly because of a sect having irrational beliefs because Jehovah`s witnesses, christians, creationists, believers in fairies all have irrational beliefs and it goes with any faith that they will be mocked by those who don`t agree and they mostly take it with a pinch of salt.
    All this `sacred` business - anything can be made sacred - I could make a tree or a stone sacred if I wished, give it importance it doesn`t really have.
    The major problem with islam IMO is its intolerance and arrogance. It really thinks it`s superior. Its not willing to live and let live. I cannot think of any other belief system that`s so intolerant. Humble is the name of the game if one moves to another country with different customs and islam is certainly not humble. The more intelligent muslims realise this and adapt accordingly and therefore find it easy to integrate. They don`t insist on special prayer rooms to be provided in their places of work, they don`t insist on wearing niqabs or burkhas, they don`t insist on special concessions, they don`t treat their women as second class citizens and they don`t have their girl children`s genitals mutilated. They therefore have no trouble integrating and most are pleasing to know.
    What happens to anyone who is arrogant and superior? - Answer - they always get ridiculed and IMO deserve it.
    I find it humourous that the `little Englanders` on CMoMM have exactly the same mentality as white supremisists and extreme islamists - they have the same superior mentality, they believe they know best and beat down anyone who disagrees.

  4. This is such a difficult subject to address. At the end of the day what is religion, a branch of politics that runs so close to the reigning world governmental powers that they co-exist to the point where one can't function effectively without the other. I can't disagree with the principle of your thoughts but if only it were that simple.

    Islam, as you will know, is not confined to the Middle East, it is indeed one of the foremost religions across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Although the Koran is the ulitmate Islamic holy text, it is not the guiding influence that governs the lives of different cultures from one country to another. Not all factions of Islam embrace polygamy, female genital mutilation, female repression, enforced female modesty to name but a few. Again it depends on regional cultures and age old traditions rather than the laws of the holy text. Across the world encompassing all religions and cultures , there is murder, genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass slaughter, rape, child abuse, abuse against women, abuse against men, witchcraft, satanic ritual, human and animal sacrificial ceremony, corruption etc. These atrocities are not confined to any particular religion or cult, it is also a people problem, a massive human failing.

    Forgive me but your assertion that the more 'intelligent' Muslim possesses a superior level of tolerance and acceptance of non-Muslims, I consider to be rather arrogant and not true to life. I know a Muslim who is a professor of languages, he lives in fear of his God, he won't even touch a bottle that contains alcohol in case he is sent to hell for an after- life of eternal damnation and I'm not joking! Another I know can drink me under the table with no fear of being forbidden entry into Paradise. Followers of the Islamic faith are really no different than followers of any other religion, it's all a case of personal interpretation of their holy text and committment to their faith. Rather like one Christian attending church three times every Sunday, another only twice, another only once and probably a whole lot more who don't see the need to attend church outside of religious festivals when the Vicar might be taking notes.

    Nor can I agree that religious intolerance is confined to the Islamic faith. From about the 16th century right up to early 20th century, within Europe the Church of England was trying to dismantle the power of the Catholic church. "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest" as Henry 11 said of his arch-enemy, the saintly Thomas à Becket. Then there has been the long term war between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. The fascist movement under the reign of Hitler's Nazi regime tried to rid the world of Jews during the 20th century and they are still persecuted to this day. War in the name of religion has been going on since the dawn of humankind and will continue to exist all the time the power crazy continue to exist i.e. Armageddon! Sorry but you will never rid the world of megalomaniacs, you only have to look at some of the internet fora to witness examples of people trying to take control and turning extremely ugly when they fail to dominate !!!

    Goes back to the same old saying, there's good and bad in all walks of life.

  5. Oops, spot the deliberate mistake, I've re-written history by inventing Henry the Eleventh! What the hell, you can't have too many Henrys can you?

  6. Intelligent discussion on free speech - Joan Bakewell, Shashi Tharoor and Christopher Hitchens.