“Je suis Charlie”: I am Charlie.
I have not changed my name, nor am I another person writing Sophie’s column for her.
“I am Charlie” is not now an expression that is understood as an identification of person, but a symbol of hope and unity amongst people of different ethnic backgrounds, countries, clans, religions, all over the world.
I think it’s beautiful.
We were not prepared for the terror that France faced last week and, as a global community, we could do nothing more than watch in horror as we prayed for those in danger.
It was so random, so avoidable and so unreasonable, and, as a result, it has made me question whether we, as a society, are ever truly safe from terror?
I heard a quote from a television interview that was given by the editor of Charlie Hebdo magazine that left me completely stunned:
“Terrorists do not speak on behalf of the Qur’an.”
This translated simply to me: religion does not provide an excuse for killing.
Religion is a faith, a hope, a love for a Superior Being, for yourself and one another, love thy neighbour.
Religion is not an air rifle, a knife, a gun, and should not be justified by a bomb, random shootings or the taking and holding of hostages.
It is something that should be celebrated, not something to use as a catalyst for destruction.
Religion does not justify murder.
How safe do you feel? How safe are we really when we walk down a street, sit on a train or travel into work?
It is random attacks like these that terrify me.
How safe am I living in the society which we do today?
These question should arise occasionally, yes, but the root of these should not come from religion.
We are united together through our love for devotions to our Gods all across the globe, just as we are with “Je suis Charlie”.
However, this connection should not even exist. We should be tied by our love for religion, not our fear.
The murders in France, however, show the ugly truth: in this society, unfortunately, we are.