Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Religion's War on Freedom Strike in Paris

Suspected shooter in Paris Massacre
Religion - or in this case, conservative Islam - has added new names to the death toll that goes hand in glove with religion over the centuries.  For centuries, those deemed guilty of blasphemy or who refused to live by certain creeds and beliefs have been murdered by the "true believers" who, due to their own psychological issues, religious brainwashing, and/or ignorance, cannot stand to see anything or anyone challenge or mock their delusional fairy tale like religious myths.   I increasingly view deep religious fundamentalism to be a form of mental illness.  The New York Times has new details on the cowardly mass killing at the offices of French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, in Paris.  Here are highlights:
The terrorist attack by masked gunmen on the newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, left 12 people dead — including the top editor, prominent cartoonists and police officers — and was among the deadliest in postwar France.

Officials said late Wednesday that the suspects had been identified and that two were brothers. They were identified as Said and Cherif Kouachi, 32 and 34, and Hamyd Mourad, 18. French news reports said the brothers had been born in Paris, raising the prospect that homegrown Muslim extremists were responsible.

Officials and witnesses said at least two gunmen carried out the attack with automatic weapons and an unusual degree of military-style precision. President François Hollande of France called it a display of extraordinary “barbarism” that was “without a doubt” an act of terrorism. 

The Paris prosecutor, François Molins, said witnesses said the attackers had screamed “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great!” during the attack, which the police characterized as a “slaughter.”
Corinne Rey, a cartoonist known as Coco, who was at the newspaper office during the attack, told Le Monde that the attackers spoke fluent French and had said they were part of Al Qaeda.

An amateur video of the assailants’ subsequent gunfight with the police, showed the men shouting, “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” The video, the source of which could not be verified, also showed the gunmen killing a police officer as he lay wounded on a nearby street.

The victims at Charlie Hebdo included some of the country’s most revered and iconoclastic cartoonists. The weekly’s editorial director, Stéphane Charbonnier, had already been received light police protection after earlier threats, the police and the prosecutor said. An officer assigned to guard the newspaper’s offices and its top editor was among the victims.

Mr. Molins, the prosecutor, said that two men armed with AK-47 rifles and wearing black hoods, had forced their way into the weekly’s offices about 11:30 a.m., firing at people in the lobby, before making their way to the newsroom on the second floor, interrupting a news meeting and firing at the assembled journalists.

The attackers then fled outside, where they clashed three times with the police, shooting one officer as he lay on the ground on a nearby street.

One journalist who was at the weekly during the attack and asked that her name not be used, texted a friend after the shooting: “I’m alive. There is death all around me. Yes, I am there. The jihadists spared me.”
What's frightening is that religious extremists - both Christian and Muslim - want to deprive others of freedom of expression and freedom of religion - and/or freedom from religion.  Their beliefs are so fragile and psychotic that they cannot tolerate anyone who suggests that their beliefs are based on lies or myths.  These religious fundamentals deserve no deference, no respect and their belief systems need to be irradiated.

The publisher of Charlie Hebdo who was murdered in Paris
Four of the murder victims

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