Imagining France Under a Muslim President: Michel Houellebecq Ponders the Path of Submission

Via Time:

More than 4 in 10 French people believe Charlie Hebdo shouldn’t publish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.

Is that because they’re afraid of more bloodshed? No, they say; they feel strongly about observing the prohibition on depicting Muhammad because

many Muslims find the images offensive.

survey conducted by Le Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper, presented participants with this information: “Some Muslims feel attacked or injured by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.” In the final tally of responses, 42% checked a box to indicate that the country should “consider these reactions and avoid publishing these cartoons.”

I imagine that Michel Houellebecq, perhaps the most famous French novelist of our time, read that news with something between amusement and exasperation.

You see, on the day of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Houellebecq’s sixth novel, a dark satirical work called Soumission (Submission), hit bookstores. The story explores what happens when, not even a decade from now, a Muslim presidential candidate, Mohammed Ben Abbes, has enough popular appeal to win France’s highest office.



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Insulted Mayor of Paris Intends to Sue Fox News Over False Allegations of No-Go Zones for Non-Muslims

After spreading the falsehood that Paris has “no-go zones” for non-Muslims, Fox News is facing the wrath of Anne Hidalgo, the French capital’s mayor, who says that Fox has insulted her city and should have to defend itself in court.



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Sikh Group Wants Ban on “Hurtful” Movie, or Theater Owners “Will Be Responsible For the Consequences”

Remember the protests by atheists in front of theaters showing God’s Not Dead, a movie that portrays non-believers in a bad light? Remember the demands for a ban, the shoving matches with theatergoers, the destruction of ticket machines and popcorn stands, and the ugly beatings?

Me neither.

Other groups sometimes do things a little differently from us, though.

Case in point: The recent Indian film Messenger of God. The flick is offensive to a lot of Sikhs, mostly because it stars Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim, the head of a blasphemous (to Sikhs) sect called the Dera Sachcha Sauda. I wrote about the kerfuffle last month.



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British Far-Right Group Goes On “Christian Patrols” in “Muslim-Occupied East London”

After arriving in what they claimed was an “armored Landrover,” a band of anti-Muslim activists from the far-right organization Britain First headed into London’s Brick Lane area the other night to hand out leaflets against Sharia patrols such as those organized by local hate preacher Anjem Choudary. The Britain First initiative was more or less a repeat of a similar event in February 2014.

Under both a heraldry sign featuring a cross and the headline “CHRISTIAN PATROL,” the text on the leaflets says

IT HAS COME TO OUR ATTENTION THAT MUSLIM PATROLS ARE OPERATING IN THIS AREA, CONFISCATING ALCOHOL AND HARASSING WOMEN. IF YOU SEE ANYTHING, PLEASE REPORT IT TO BRITAIN FIRST.



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“I Love My Religion More Than I Love My Kids”; When Atheists Marry Believers, Love May Not Conquer All

Though it doesn’t have to be that way, for lots of couples, religion is a serious wedge issue.

I feel terrible for Tauseef, a British ex-Muslim whose six-year-old marriage is cracking because his wife’s faith has grown stronger while his own has dissipated. She holds it against him and has grown colder; he still loves her and tries to convince her that he can be the man she wants him to be. The BBC interviewed Tauseef recently. You can hear the sadness and anguish in his voice.



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