I’d never heard of Charlie Hebdo until this morning when I saw the news of an attack killing eleven and wounding ten more. The magazine was firebombed in 2011 after naming the Prophet Muhammad as its “editor-in-chief” for its next issue. It seems the modern way of dealing with satire and debate is to kill and maim. Is this what the world has come to?
As soon as I saw the breaking news headline flash up on my phone my immediate thought was “Islamic militants” – I worry about when we can expect an attack in the UK. Soon? Imminently? Last month there was talk of a valid and serious threat to kidnap and murder a West Midlands Police Officer. In May 2013 two Islamists, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby. There have been attacks in Sydney, and recently in Saudi Arabia. Every day the news seems to be filled with reports of more and more attacks by groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.
What of the solution? We still – as a society – appear to be anti-war whilst the enemy plans and plots to bring war to our streets. At what point do we say, “enough is enough” and take a stand against those groups who wish to cause us harm? Our society is fragile in it’s multi-cultural make up. We live together, black and white, Muslim and Christian, theist and atheist, Labour and Tory. We are all different yet the same. We have a nation built on tolerance and those who preach intolerance plan to do us harm. How many more innocents need to die before we stand up for ourselves? I hope the answer is ‘none’.