From the Telegraph
French police are investigating death threats against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo over a cartoon of Oxford scholar Tariq Ramadan, who is facing rape allegations.
The provocative magazine, which suffered a deadly jihadist attack in January 2015 after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, depicted Ramadan its edition last Wednesday in an explicit pose, with the caption: "I am the sixth pillar of Islam."
Mr Ramadan, who has Swiss nationality and is seen as a controversial conservative Islamic intellectual in France, has been accused of rape by two women after the Harvey Weinstein scandal sparked a wave of sexual abuse accusations around the planet.
The 55-year-old has vigorously denied the accusations as a "campaign of lies launched by my adversaries". It's all a Zionist plot, don't you know?
"Rape," reads the caption on Charlie Hebdo's cover. "The defence of Tariq Ramadan."
Laurent "Riss" Sourisseau, the magazine's editor, said the threats and hate mail had "never really stopped" after the January 2015 jihadist attack in which 12 people were gunned down at its offices. "Sometimes there are peaks when we receive explicit death threats on social media - this has been the case once again," he told Europe 1 radio. "It's always difficult to know if these are serious threats or not, but as a principle, we take them seriously and press charges." However, he suggested the climate had worsened. “Calls to murder have become commonplace,” he said.
In an editorial, Laurent Joffrin, said those sending death threats had missed the point. "An attack against Islam? In fact, against Ramadan, mocked as a Tartuffe with a big d*** who contradicts the very principles he is supposed to teach and which are not, by the way, targeted by Charlie. But subtlety is not bigots' strong point."
The copy of the cover picture is from Nice Matin; the Telegraph decided not to show it.
The Charlie Hebdo people may say that this is about Frere Tariq. But their art, in this scathing cartoon, strikes home more truly than they have any inkling of. The sixth pillar of Islam is, traditinally, jihad. But rape - mass rape, rape-unto-death, gang rape, rape-and-enslavement - has always been part of Jihad; it would be possible to argue that rape, like ritual murder, is intrinsic to Islam, it coheres with the victor-and-vaniquished zero-sum mentality of Islam; rape is how that zero-sum mindset plays out in the realm of sexual relations. Nearly 300 years ago the wise John Quincy Adams stated, concerning Mohammed, that "the essence of his teaching was violence and lust - to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature". And over at jihadwatch one very astute commentator, a devoutly Catholic lady, not wont to speak coarsely or vulgarly, was sometimes heard to refer to Islam as "Mo's worship-the-penis club". I wonder whether Charlie Hebdo would be game to represent *that*.