Strong emotional words. “Nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence”, was indignant Charlie Hebdoa French satirical newspaper decimated by an Islamist attack in 2015, after the attack on the writer Salman Rushdie, the target for more than 30 years of a fatwa from Iran.
“At the time of writing, we do not know the motivations of the author of the knife attack against Salman Rushdie. Was he revolted against global warming, against the decline in purchasing power or against the ban on watering flowerpots because of the heat wave? “wrote ironically Riss, chief editor of Charlie Hebdo and one of the few survivors of the 2015 attack, in a post on the newspaper’s website.
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“Freedom of expression has no value for God”
“Let’s then take the risk of saying that he is probably a believer, that he is just as probably a Muslim and that he committed his act even more probably in the name of the fatwa launched in 1989 by the Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie, and which condemned him to death, ”he continues.
“Freedom to think, reflect and express oneself has no value for God and his servants. And in Islam, whose history has often been written in violence and submission, these values simply have no place because they are so many threats against its hold on people’s minds,” argues Riss.
A “revolting fatwa”
He rejects the idea that “the fatwa against Salman Rushdie was all the more revolting because what he had written in his book, ‘The Satanic Verses’, was in no way disrespectful of Islam “. According to him, this is a “reasoning of a very great perversity because it induces that, conversely, disrespectful remarks towards Islam would justify a fatwa and a punishment, even if it is fatal”.
“Well no, we will have to repeat over and over again that nothing, absolutely nothing justifies a fatwa, a death sentence, of anyone for anything”, insists Riss, castigating “little mediocre spiritual leaders , intellectually dull and often culturally ignorant”.
In January 2015, Charlie Hebdo was the victim of an Islamist attack which killed 12 people, including cartoonists Charb, Cabu and Wolinski, after publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. This attack had aroused worldwide emotion, and Salman Rushdie had then expressed his “solidarity with Charlie Hebdo “.