How Should we Approach the Mohammed Cartoons Controversy by Olivier Melnick

Freedom of speech being what it is, still does not grant us the right to say anything we want, anytime we want to anybody we want. Freedom of speech guarantees that we won’t be harassed, arrested, imprisoned or killed for speaking our mind but it doesn’t and shouldn’t give us carte blanche to say anything we want.

complete article here:

How Should we Approach the Mohammed Cartoons Controversy?

I addressed the same kind of issue previously with this photo.


What Do You REALLY Know About Charlie? (Je ne suis pas charlie)

The right to freedom of expression has become a prominent issue over the past couple of weeks, mostly due to the Charlie Hebdo murders.

I remember a disagreement I had with someone about a similar topic on a Christian forum a few years ago when several people were asserting that freedom of speech was a God-given right.

My view is that God does not endorse freedom of speech/ expression. There are countless cases in scripture where some aspects of speech are forbidden or condemned, things we are NOT free to express.

Here are a few examples that quickly come to mind:

  • You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name (Ex 20)
  • You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour (Ex 20)
  • But among you there must not be … obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking (Eph 5)
  • Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. (James 3)
  • …if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. (James 3)
  • I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken. (Matt 12)


There would certainly be many more examples than these, and this is why I’ve expressed concerns about Christians identifying themselves with “Je Suis Charlie” when Charlie Hebdo’s freedom of expression was often used for extremely ungodly purposes. While their mocking of Islam has received most coverage (due to the horrific response by some who took offence), they have equally mocked other religions.

Stephen Glover wrote in the Daily Mail:

Not many among the millions of people who have identified with Charlie Hebdo can be aware that its raison d’etre is a hatred of all religion. Stephane Charbonnier, the magazine’s editor who was murdered last week, once asserted that his magazine was ‘above all secular and atheist’.

That was a very revealing thing to have said. His atheism, and that of his colleagues, was not the easy-going sort of non-belief so widespread in the modern West, which can happily co-exist with religious faith. No, it was a militant, campaigning credo which wished to mock, attack, defile and excoriate religion in all its forms.

(Full article here:


Before standing up and supporting freedoms, considering them to be “God-given”, it would be wise for Christians to see what is being supported. The case of Charlie Hebdo and the “Je Suis Charlie” movement is a clear, currently topical example. While the current news focuses on their treatment of Islam and Mohammed (and the abominable acts of Islamist extremist murderers), some Christians might think it is okay to stand in support of the paper. But I wonder whether that support would last if they check the Daily Mail article linked above to read examples of Charlie Hebdo’s commentary on Christianity, God and Jesus.

The examples given are so shocking that I won’t repeat them here. The author of the article himself apologises for sharing the content, saying: “

I am sorry to have to describe these obscenities in such minute detail, but there is no other way of conveying just how unbelievably awful these cartoons are.”

Professing follower of Jesus, can you read that and still say “Je Suis Charlie” and make “freedom of expression” the focus of your life?



Burning Bush

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
And God said to Moses “I Am Who I AM” (Ex 3)


Jesus said…”I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I Am Who I Am.” (John 13)

Identity and Contrast: Charlie, Mohammed or Jesus?

I wonder how many professing Christians have jumped onto the “Je Suis Charlie” bandwagon – moved by emotion instead of discernment.

While we can all abhor what happened to the cartoonists and journalists from the Charlie Hebdo paper, being shocked that such a thing could happen, and while we can sympathise with the families of the victims; surely identifying ourselves with a paper that has mocked Christianity and not only Islam can’t be the right way to go.

Maybe one of the publications main achievements was to be equally insulting to all religions and in being so, in a roundabout and unfortunate way, have shown up the thing that sets Islam apart. Followers of THAT religion were the ones to be moved to extreme and deadly violence against the publication to avenge their ‘prophet” in the name of their god.

britain Why would anyone be surprised by this? Have they forgotten about the death sentence placed on Salman Rushdie in 1989 (a sentence that remains, with an increased reward offered to the one who carries it out)? Have they forgotten the many who were murdered for their association with Rushdie and his book The Satanic Verses?

1347713064047Have they forgotten those murdered during other protests about movies and previous cartoons that have depicted Mohammed in a less than flattering light?

These threats and actions may have been endorsed by a minority of Moslems in the west, but they have been a sizable and vocal minority not afraid of making their extreme views clear. In Australia protestors openly carried placards calling for the beheading of those who insult “the prophet”. In Britain those who “mock Islam” were to be butchered. And while the sentence against Rushdie was issued from Iran, it was done so at the instigation of Moslems in Britain.

The Charlie Hebdo murders were nothing new and I think it would be naive to think they will be the last. It doesn’t matter how many millions march in peaceful protest through city streets, no matter how many clever cartoons are drawn in response (and some HAVE been very good) those consumed by the Islamist ideology of ISIS, Al Queda, Boko Haram and countless other similar groups won’t be moved at all and will continue with their evil acts.

While we are assured those actions are not sanctioned by the broader Moslem communities in the west, there is a large enough number of professing Moslems around the world (including an active minority the west) who do sanction such actions. That is something that few seem willing to admit, being afraid of “alienating” the moderate Moslems and potentially pushing THEM towards extremism.

To me that attitude could seem patronising, but strangely, despite the fact that Moslems in Iraq and Syria are the main victims of Islamist extremists like ISIS, Moslems in the west also make the same kind of claims – that victimisation of Moslems by non-Moslems causes the embracing of extremism.

On the same day as the Charlie Hebdo murders, it was reported that a Saudi Arabian court sentenced a blogger to 10 years jail and 1000 lashes because of things he wrote on his blog. ( ). [remember, Saudi Arabia: the home of Islam and its “holiest” sites. ]

Also, Christian ministry Open Doors reports Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution of Christians in 40 of the 50 countries.

Consider the contrast:
How do the above examples compare to the treatment of Moslems in the west?
Are Moslems prevented by law from peacefully practising their religion?
Would Moslems face execution for blasphemy should they speak out against the west’s religion of secularism? (Or Christianity or Buddhism or any other religion practised in the west)?

Consider the contrast:
The Paris gunmen:

“we have avenged the prophet”


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5)



Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Cor 6)

…remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions (Jude)