I am Charlie, is the translation should you not understand French. We must all be Charlie at this juncture in our history. There is no single more important aspect of freedom and democracy than free speech, freedom of expression. Islamic extremists wish to destroy democracy, remove our freedom. Caricatures of the prophet Mohammed may be blasphemous to a Muslim but that is an opinion. God/Allah/Jehovah are, when boiled down to definition, nothing more than opinions. The belief in religion is based on opinion. The existence of a god or gods, is an opinion. None of it based on empirical fact.
Stalin had an opinion and using it as his justification, murdered millions of men, women and children. Hitler had an opinion and he too, used it as justification for the slaughter of innocents. Islam is now being used in the same way, by the same sort of psychotics.
Personally, I vacillate between believing there is “something else”, some higher power and believing that it is all by chance. That there is nothing higher, nothing higher than the physical actions of a universe doing what it does. Chaos theory perhaps. I have no empirical proof one way or the other and so, these are my opinions. I don’t have the right to stifle those who believe in Allah, God or Jehovah. I have the right to disagree. I have the right to express my disagreement. I will be damned before I allow anyone to supress my right to expression.
The murder of the innocent men and women in France has hit me very hard. Freedom of speech is a corner stone of who I am as a Canadian, as a human being. With all the atrocities that stream my way, every night, while I watch the evening news, in the comfort of my home, surrounded by love, by security, I am – while not immune – insulated. Protected. An observer. Sometimes, news will move me to tears but this – this assault, this massacre in France? It brought tears, it brought heartache, it brought incredible anger but most of all, it brought a sense of solidarity with these defenseless victims. I am angry. I am angry that the Islam communities, the Islamic countries are not standing up in outrage over this cowardly act. Democratic leaders all over this globe, stood up and condemned this act. This will speak volumes to the people of the world. The act of saying nothing can and will be construed as acquiescence. What other conclusion can be drawn?
The opponents of Islam, of multi-cultural societies have been given more ammunition on which to draw their own recruits. The Islamic world has only itself to blame by not standing with Chancellor Merkel, President Obama, Prime Ministers Cameron and Harper in their condemnation of this vicious and cowardly act done, whether these men are insane or not, in the name of Islam.
The murders must stop, the stonings must stop. The kidnapping must stop. The bombings must stop. The insane destruction of land, people and civilization must stop. Religion is an opinion and no one can justify the murder of innocent men, women and children, based on an opinion. Je suis Charlie. I am freedom.