Cold blooded murder and terror is barbaric, shooting journalists or cartoonists in a magazine is deplorable, it is indefensible. Killing is always a grave offense against God. I would certainly want to show support with the dead, the injured and the bereaved. Terror must always be met with the full force of the law, there should be no hiding place for those who killed at the Charlie Hebdo office. Nothing can justify the killing of the innocent.
The Paris killings are deeply troubling, they show the problem of a dominant society that contains a minority that do not share its values, in fact a group that has values that are directly opposed to its values and find those values deeply offensive. France likes to think of itself as the epitome of the secular state and is therefore incapable of understanding the deep offense caused to religious sentiment by offensive imagery.
Many of those protesting the Charlie Hebdo murders on the streets of European cities are presumably not merely liberal secularists but members of the far right too, an alliance of the two is highly worrying, especially for a society like many in the West that are dependent for basic services on recently arrived immigrants, primarily because their own birthrate is so low.
There have been suggestions that the Charlie Hebdo murders were an attack on free speech but France like the rest of the West is against homophobic, rascist, sexist speech and has laws to restrict that kind of freedom. Charlie Hebdo is actually purile and offensive though it might be seen as court jester of French liberal establishment. It is not freedom of speech it defends but its own right to be gratuitously insulting, take a look at some of its front covers, some of which seem to be in the style of that German satirical publication of the 20s, 30s and 40s. It is a mark of any civilised society that all its members have some entitlement to be treated with respect. In a healthy society one moderates one's tone and uses language which is respectful, especially of an underclass or minority which is potentially explosive.
The Charlie Hebdo murders should invite greater freedom of speech, perhaps revisiting Pope Benedict's Regensburg lecture should certainly
cause us to ask why Islam and the sword often go hand in hand, the vast
majority of Muslims are the victims of murderous thugs rather than the
thugs themselves but the relationship of Islam and violence needs to discussed. So too does the State's relationship with justice which was raised in his Berlin address earlier in his visit. The West contains a great number of disengaged young men and women who are increasingly alienated from our society, laws no longer bind, there are swathes of our society who make up their own rules, who have their own codes and see the establishment as corrupt and oppressive.
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