A French high school philosophy teacher and author who carried out a scathing attack against the Prophet Muhammad and Islam in a newspaper commentary says he has gone into hiding under police protection after receiving a series of death threats, including one disseminated on an online radical Islamist forum.
The teacher, Robert Redeker, 52, wrote in the center-right daily Le Figaro 10 days ago that Muhammad was "a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass-murderer of Jews and a polygamist," and called the Koran "a book of incredible violence."...
Immediately afterward, Mr. Redeker, who teaches in a public high school near Toulouse and is the author of several books on philosophy, began to receive death threats by telephone, e-mail and through the online Islamist Web site known as Al Hesbah, a password-protected forum with ties to Al Qaeda. The forum published photos of him and what it said was his home address, directions to his home and his cellphone number, according to the SITE Institute, which tracks violent Islamist groups.
That day's issue of Le Figaro was banned in Egypt and Tunisia. Mr. Redeker was denounced by a commentator on Al Jazeera television.
"I can't work, I can't come and go and am obliged to hide," Mr. Redeker told Europe 1 radio in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location on Friday. "So in some way, the Islamists have succeeded in punishing me on the territory of the republic as if I were guilty of a crime of opinion."
One of the threats came from a contributor to Al Hesbah, who wrote, "It is impossible that this day pass without the lions of France punishing him."
The contributor called on his Muslim brethren in France to follow the lead of Muhammad Bouyeri, who murdered the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh after he made a film denouncing the plight of abused Muslim women.
"May God send some lion to cut his head," the contributor said of Mr. Redeker, whom he described as a "pig."