By: Ed Husain
The killing of journalists in Paris on Wednesday was not only an attack on France but also an assault on Islam and the very freedoms that allow 30 million Muslims to prosper in the west.
Free speech is not a western concept: it is a universal craving of the human soul. The gunmen ran away shouting that they were “avenging the prophet Muhammad”. How dare they? We cannot let the murderers define Islam.
In sixth-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors.
We should look to revolutionary France if we want to understand the source of Islamic State’s ideology and violence
By: Kevin McDonald
Over recent weeks there has been a constant background noise suggesting that Islamic State (Isis) and its ideology are some sort of throwback to a distant past. It is often framed in language such as that used last week by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, who said Isis was “medieval”. In fact, the terrorist group’s thinking is very much in a more modern, western tradition.