Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Charlie Hebdo

I originally meant to write a piece on the Charlie Hebdo events way back but finally decided against it. Instead of one more opinion article, I thought that it would be more interesting and, hopefully, more valuable, to list a few data points and quotes and let you ponder about them.

On the ability, willingness of religions to change with society...
"So much is written of the gay lobby. I still have not met one who will give me the identity card with “gay”. They say that they exist. I think that when one meets a person like this, one must distinguish the fact of being a gay person from the fact of doing a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. That’s bad. If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in such a beautiful way, it says, Wait a bit, as is said and says: “these persons must not be marginalized because of this; they must be integrated in society.”
The problem isn’t having this tendency, no. We must be brothers, because this is one, but there are others, others. The problem is the lobbying of this tendency: lobby of the avaricious, lobby of politicians, lobby of Masons, so many lobbies. This, for me, is the more serious problem."
Pope Francis, July 22nd, 2013

On religion and freedom of speech...
'Asked about the attack that killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo – targeted because it had printed depictions of the prophet Muhammad – he said: “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.

“There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits.”

He gestured to Alberto Gasparri, who organises papal trips and was standing by his side, and added: “If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”'

Reported in The Guardian, on January 15th, 2015

On the integration of religion, and specifically Islam into western liberal societies...

BBC RADIO 4 TODAY MUSLIM POLL, February 25th, 2015