French anti-terrorism authorities Friday opened an inquiry into death threats against a philosophy teacher who has been forced into hiding over a newspaper column attacking Islam, legal officials said.
Robert Redeker, 52, is receiving round-the-clock police protection and changing addresses every two days, after publishing an article describing the Koran as a "book of extraordinary violence" and Islam as "a religion which... exalts violence and hate".
He told i-TV television he had received several e-mail threats targeting himself and his wife and three children, and that his photograph and address were available on several Islamist Internet sites.
"There is a very clear map of how to get to my home, with the words: 'This pig must have his head cut off'," he said.
UPDATE: By the way, I don't think that Islam, as such, is necessarily more prone to violence and intolerance than other religions; my own European Jewish ancestors overall likely suffered far more under Christian regimes than my wife's Iraqi Jewish ancestors suffered under Muslim regimes. But the radical, fascistic Islamist movement is to Islam as the radical fascistic "Christian Identity" movement is to Christianity--a perversion of the religion in the name of a supremacist, violent ideology. [Of course, modern Christianity is much more cuddly than modern Islam, but that's a result of secular ideologies, such as separation of church and state, taking hold, thus privatizing religion, not because politicized Christianity is inherently cuddly. For example, it was only one hundred or so years ago that the Tsars stopped kidnapping ten year-old Jewish boys and sending them to the army for twenty years in order to Christianize them, 150 or so years ago that the Pope enthusiastically endorsed taking an Italian Jewish child away from his parents because his Catholic nanny had secretly converted him, and only a couple hundred years earlier that the Thirty Years War fought in the name of sectarian Christianity slaughtered a good percentage of the European population.]
FURTHER UPDATE: My understanding is that modern Islamism, at least its Sunni variation, descends from Muslim Brotherhood ideology, and that the Brotherhood was itself modeled on European fascist movements, thus "fascistic" is an appropriate moniker.
There was a time in world history when Islamic societies were relatively advanced and tolerant, and Christian societies relatively backward, violent, and intolerant. Religions with long written and oral traditions can be used and misused in any number of ways by those who seek to use them for political ends. One commenter mentioned the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whose movement in Israel was indeed an analogue to Christian Identity. I suppose it's wrong to say that fascistic Islamism is a "perversion" of Islam, because there is no such thing as "official" Islam. Rather, it's one way of interpreting Islam for those who seek to use it to political ends, but, as a practical matter, it's no more an inherent element of Islam than the Inquisition was an inherent element of Christianity. And I get impatient with those who quote the Koran. You can quote the Torah and discover that Judaism is a genocidal religion (at least with regard to the inhabitants of the Land of Israel) that also demands, among other things, executing anyone who violates the Sabbath. And indeed you can find a lunatic fringe that still believes in such things, but the mainstream of the religion has evolved well beyond this. Oral tradition (which itself eventually gets written) has thousands of way to accommodate ancient religious dictate to modern liberal society, if one is inclined to do it. One is left to hope that fascistic versions of Islamic interpretation will lose out largely through internal rejection, and not, as may seem more likely today, through military confrontation with the West.