“The right to blasphemy on one’s own religion should not confused with the right to blasphemy on someone else’s religion, particularly in the difficult socio-economic context of today’s French society: repetitive, systematic blasphemy on Mahomet, central figure of the religion of a weak and discriminated-against group, should be, whatever tribunals say, considered as inciting to religious, ethnic or racial hatred,” he writes.
Todd provides pseudo-scientific cover to those that have always felt uncomfortable siding with the Charlie cartoonists, like the members of the PEN jury who protested the award given to the paper in May. Mostly received as a provocative stunt from a professional contrarian, Who is Charlie? is nonetheless an extreme example of a part of the left’s willingness to forego its liberal and secular principles when it comes to talking about Islam. Because immigrant populations are economically disenfranchised, raising the question of anti-Semitism or extremism among the ranks of a minority of them can only be racist, a tool of oppression. The book thus proceeds in a constant and methodical reversal of realities. Islamophobia is the cause of terrorism. ‘Je Suis Charlie’ demonstrators can be indirectly blamed for the rise of anti-Semitism because they contribute to this Islamophobia. Islamic extremism is a reaction to economic exclusion, the same way Scottish nationalism among young Scots stems from David Cameron’s austerity policies!