I am Charlie

Let’s get one thing straight. It is not about freedom of speech, it’s about terrorism. It’s about the right of the individual to live without the fear of armed people bursting in on their lives and blowing their brains out all over the wall. Sorry, it’s a fact that death by automatic rifle fire is not a pretty sight.

The people of France, will this afternoon, along with the support of a number of world leaders show their solidarity against a world ruled by the gun.

The finer points relating to freedom of speech and religious tolerance are not relevant in a situation ruled by violence. These terrorists are using unauthorized violence in the pursuit of their political aims. They are using religion as a reason for their brutal acts, they are trying to bring the lawlessness of states ruled by fear to the civilized western world and impose their ideas on all who uphold the right of everyone to live without fear.

The people who committed these atrocities in Paris are not part of an organized army. They are not covert operatives acting upon orders from a disciplined organized group. They were a few individuals who have been indoctrinated by the views of radical extremists to the point that they sever all association with normal behaviour and set about the violent destruction of any one who dares to suggest or voice an opinion that differs from their own.

On BBC television this morning, the programme ‘The Big Question’ was full of pundits – religious pundits, journalistic pundits. theological pundits, esteemed leaders of the institution, all debating the various and finer points of freedom of speech and religious tolerance. They all missed the point that these terrorists don’t give a damn for their views, they were intent only on taking individual lives in a mistaken attempt to persuade everyone else to conform to their way of thinking. Terrorists don’t actually care about freedom of speech, they aim to persuade by violence.

The people of France are this afternoon showing their solidarity for the rule of law. There is no place in this world today for extreme violence of this nature. The leaders of the civilised world have to get together to prevent the spread of indoctrination by violence. Freedom of speech is all very well but unless this sort of violence can be eradicated none of us can live in peace, let alone express any views we might hold.

That is why the people of France are today standing together peacefully and in numbers to show these radical terrorists that they will not succeed.

I am Charlie.

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5 thoughts on “I am Charlie

  1. A very thoughtful, well written piece! It’s too bad that more of the pundits lack your common sense to see the situation for what it really is. Not only don’t the terrorist believe in free speech, they are opposed to it, it is one of the things that drive them to commit the terrorist attacks that they carry out.

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    • Thank you for reading and commenting. You are quite right, these terrorists don’t believe in free speech. They have their views and believe they can through violence stop anyone from expressing an opinion against them.

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  2. I agree that it is not a question of free speech but rather a question of not shooting people. This is never justified. The question that has not been asked clearly enough is why these men thought it was justified. Not what their excuse was but why they thought that it was justified.

    On a side note, since as you say free speech has been so much talked of, I reflect that the last successful blasphemy prosecution in the UK was as recently as Whitehouse v. Lemon in 1977, when Denis Lemon, the editor of Gay News, was found guilty. His newspaper had published James Kirkup’s poem “The Love that Dares to Speak its Name”, which allegedly vilified Christ and his life so we don’t have much to boast of in that respect.

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    • Thanks for reading and commenting. There can be no justification for violence such as this, whatever the perceived reason.

      On your side note, I agree wholeheartedly. On many subjects, freedom of speech was only just developing in the 1970s. Mary Whitehouse was determined to force the establishment (and the general public) to listen to her views and used the blasphemy laws to try and discredit Gay News. She didn’t of course use violence.

      Hopefully, we have come a long way since then and our ideas of freedom have developed and the world will become a better place to live once we have overcome the gun as a means of persuasion.

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