“France was swept up in a wave of defiant demonstrations in defense of freedom of expression on Wednesday night,” reports The Telegraph.
In Paris, more than 35,000 gathered in the Place de la Republique “to show their solidarity with the families of the victims, and their refusal to be cowed by terrorists.”
Demonstrations were held in 150 cities and towns.
I agree completely with this New Yorker commentary by George Packer on The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders. He blames “an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decades.”
Because the ideology is the product of a major world religion, a lot of painstaking pretzel logic goes into trying to explain what the violence does, or doesn’t, have to do with Islam. Some well-meaning people tiptoe around the Islamic connection, claiming that the carnage has nothing to do with faith, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or that, at most, the violence represents a “distortion” of a great religion.
. . . A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents. Islam today includes a substantial minority of believers who countenance, if they don’t actually carry out, a degree of violence in the application of their convictions that is currently unique.
The cartoonists died for an idea. The killers are soldiers in a war against freedom of thought and speech, against tolerance, pluralism, and the right to offend—against everything decent in a democratic society. So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day.
Read the whole thing.