Charlie Hebdo Massacre: France's Pearl Harbor

The Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris and the kosher supermarket killings nearby shocked Europe. Afterwards President Hollande addressed the nation. Did he say, "This is a date which will live in infamy"? No. Disgracefully, he said, "This has nothing to do with Islam". He is badly and most reprehensibly wrong. Those killings have everything to do with Islam. They were Islamic acts of war. They were France's Pearl Harbor.

The multiple murders at Charlie Hebdo were not an armed robbery. The killers were not ex-employees with a grudge; nor were they insane. They were loyal adherents of an alien and incompatible ideology, Islam, that is permanently at war with the West. In Islam's teachings the West is Dar Al Harb, the Realm of War. The killers were imposing Sharia law by force. Their raid had been carefully planned. Deliberately they projected the image of soldiers in dark military-type clothing. All Muslims are "Soldiers of Allah": all have the obligation to engage in jihad, "warfare to establish the religion" (Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller, o9.0, o9.1). This was not vanity, not a fantasy: they were mujahideen, exacting the Sharia law penalty for mockery of the messenger of Allah.

"To revile Allah or His messenger", says the Manual, is an act that calls for death (o8.7(4), o8.0). Anyone is entitled to perform the killing, free of penalty, "since it is killing someone who deserves to die" (o8.4). The killers were well aware of that law: "If someone offends the Prophet no problem, we can kill him", one of them said over the telephone (BBC subtitles). That is Sharia law. The attack was later claimed by Al Qaeda in Yemen as having been organised by them. The two killers had been fighting in that theatre before returning to France.

The nearby killings in the kosher supermarket, though unconnected to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, were also performed by an observant Muslim. He had made a video message in which he pledged allegiance to the Caliph of Islamic State. He seems to have been prevented from carrying out an original plan of attacking a school. Earlier he had been challenged by a policewoman over parking: he shot and killed her. As a result he was on the run, and decided to go out with a slaughter by killing Jews, as commanded in the Koran: "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them" (9:5). Jew-hatred is hard-wired into the Koran: "Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah", says a Hamas video. The mujahid gunman expected to be killed. The assurance of paradise awaits those who "kill and are killed" (9:111).

Both these killings were acts of war. They were one ideology imposing its rules by force on another in an aggressive act of hostile supremacism. The analogy with Pearl Harbor is not at all far-fetched. These were unmistakeable statements of implacable opposition and superiority. They fit seamlessly into Islam's centuries-long warfare against all other ideologies: "Fight and kill the unbelievers until there is no more unrest and Islam is the only governance" (Koran 8:39). Jihad continues until there are no more kuffar, unbelievers, left to subjugate or kill. Islam has to reign supreme: "Islam will dominate", say the placards.

The President's denial is a disgrace. He should be enhancing his country's defences.



The Manual of Islamic Law, Reliance of the Traveller, available as a free download.

The Koran online:

A general reference: