Pope Francis: Violence At Insulting Faith Is Normal


“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend punch his way. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”… [Source]

Speaking of our mothers, the Muslim Council of Britain made clear:

1. For Muslims, love of the Prophet ( ﷺ peace be upon him) is a NECESSARY part of our FAITH. He is dearer to us than our parents and children. We prefer him to our own self.

So if punching someone for mocking your mother is normal, than what of mocking someone you are told to esteem beyond your mother? A fatal knockout blow perhaps because you have to punch that much harder as it is not your mother, but Mohammed. Show the love.

The Pope did say killing in the name of religion is wrong, but his comment is the apology any fundamentalist needs to whitewash the bloodstains. They so love Mohammed, that if ever they were to look on him:

“My eyes have never seen anyone more perfect than you

No woman has given birth to anyone more handsome than you

You have been created free from all defects

As if you were created the way you wished”

That a Charlie Hebdo caricature, that showed him crying at the thought of murder done in his name, would be a provocation to further murder. Idolatry is meant to be avoided, yet the very image of Mohammed portrayed goes beyond esteem as the couplet above mentions (again via MCB).

Giles Fraser calls Charlie Hebdo iconoclasts for this reason. I am inclined to agree. The need to challenge the idea that any man must be lionised in this manner, and worse that we must kowtow before this idea is preposterous. An image of the mind that must never be made real, and certainly not satirically depicted. We are expected to be as a devout believer.

Power is the right subject for satire. This is why religious figures are legitimate subjects. It is dangerous to suggest violence against this is normal, that insults lead to murder for those things we care passionately about. Honour killings, and persecution of other religions and sects are justified this way too.

We would do well to include persecution of atheists, often at the forefront of questioning religious ideas, and opinions:

Karim Ashraf Mohamed al-Banna was arrested with a group of people at a cafe in November, according to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. An Egyptian minor offenses court sentenced him on blasphemy charges Saturday in what Human Rights Watch called “part of a wider government push to combat atheism and other forms of dissent.” [CNN]

Karim’s parents so much loved the prophet more that they lured him to the cafe so the police could arrest him. His father testified in court against his son. This is the pure love demanded when you must place a dead man you never knew before your own living child.

The Pope says people make a game of insulting religion. This is no game. The ideas of religion as sacrosanct need to be shown for what they are. The pretentious nature of sycophancy to a man’s physique, the requirement to love him beyond that of your own children so that to betray them for him is right.

We must continue to lampoon religion not because it hurts others, but because the hurt done by religion is very real. Offence because piety demands you must react that way is not natural; your emotions to your children are natural. If the choice is the welfare of your children or your religion no holy book need be reached for or cleric called for the answer. A loving parent should know which comes first, every, single, time.

The need to smash idols is ever present, and the apologetics for massacres. It means very little to say murder is wrong when you then justify it. When you demand the implausible is done, the unthinkable will happen.


Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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Filed under atheism, Religion, secular, World

7 responses to “Pope Francis: Violence At Insulting Faith Is Normal

  1. The Argument that Criticizing/Satirizing Muhammad or Islam is akin to verbally abusing one’s Parents is a common argument I here from those who dance around defending the actions of the Jihadists.

    They ask, “If you went around insulting a person’s father or mother, then are you not responsible for provoking them? Then are you not responsible, at least partially, for any possible physical retaliations?”

    They continue, “We Muslims love Allah and our Rasoolallah more than our own mother and father. When one criticizes or satirizes or insults our Prophet or Allah, it is more provocative than abusing our parents. Are you not then responsible if some of us were to wear ski masks and murder people? You provoked us after all…”

    What this emotional non-argument implies is that individuals should not be criticized or mocked as long as they have family members or followers who will have their feelings hurt.
    This is the most infantile sentiment I could ever think of.
    To take the obvious example, Hitler. I hope most of us, including Muslims, have a negative view of Hitler. Satirizing or mocking Hitler can be used to express our negative view towards him, his ideology as well as shed light on contemporary issues such as racism or nationalism etc.
    Would it matter at all, if Hitler had childish neo-Nazi followers who claim that their feelings were hurt by any criticism or satire of their dear leader? Should it matter at all, if Hitler had childish neo-Nazi followers who claim that their feelings were hurt by any criticism or satire of their dear leader?
    To harbor such a sentiment, even as a devout Muslim, is to support the idea that tyrants, demagogues, cult leaders and other mock-worthy individuals can hide behind immature and violent plebs.
    Do you really wish to leave behind such a world?

    NOTE: I do not wish to deny the possible element of bullying involved when certain groups mock Muhammad. Take the “Innocence of Muslims” movie for example. While I support the maker’s freedom to make such a movie, it is also clear that the people behind it were ignorant, tasteless and bent on demonizing the Muslim world.

  2. K P Spong

    Dear, Frank.

    Honestly! What kind of juvenile, macho thug resorts to violence because someone insults his mum? Don’t be such a stereotype! Next thing you’ll be doing the tango, with a stilleto between your clenched teeth. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m no saint, but I’d like to think that if someone insulted my dear, departed mother, I’d react some common sense, and a sense of humour (they are, after all, the same thing). I certainly hope I’m not so insecure as to resort a knuckle sandwich – and I don’t even work for a company who’s founder says that if I want to be a good employee I’ll have to hate my family. Frank, mocking your mommy seems to be a sore point. I really think you should talk to a professional about that, bud. Since the sore point often reveals the salient point, perhaps you should talk to them about how you really feel about the old girl. Perhaps your relationship with her isn’t as strong as you’d like (and like us) to believe. Look, Frank, I’m just offering advice, how you live your life is none of my business, but if you react with violence because someone says ‘Yo momma!’, not only will you look like a ridiculous, spoiled brat, but you could end up killing someone, dude.

    Yours Kev.

  3. Cath

    The Qur’an actually says to ignore mockery… http://muslimmatters.org/2012/09/16/39567/
    And the bible says to “turn the other cheek” and “do unto others”.
    Why so violent? Chillax humans, ffs. I heard someone recently say “we are still in the dark ages”. That certainly is the view from here.

  4. P Kabu

    ‘Power is the right subject for satire. This is why religious figures are legitimate subjects.’
    With those few words you nail the argument. Well said.

  5. Pingback: Round 2: Vatican Tries To Block Pope’s Punch – Too Late | Homo economicus' Weblog

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