The commentators 09-01-15
...on Charlie Hebdo
It is hard to find anything heartening in the aftermath of such a brutal murder as this but there may be some consolation if it redoubles the determination of liberal democracies to stand up to tyranny. It is a moment to face and state hard truths and one that, through sheer liberal politeness we are apt to gloss over, is that the poisonous influence of religious belief cannot be subtracted from this dismal event.
- Philip Collins, The Times
Every time there’s another atrocity, the authorities cede more ground to the terrorists. After 9/11 it was by criminalising airline passengers. After the recent Toronto parliament killings, it was relocating guardsmen behind the gates. In the Seventies, the State responded to IRA bombings by removing all the litter bins from railway stations. Most of them have never been put back. After Paris, who knows what they’ll come up with. But, rest assured, they’ll think of something. This is how freedom dies. Little by little, piece by piece.
- Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
The claim that Farage and many others appear to make is that Islam is inevitably violent, to which others reply that it’s a religion of peace, with each side quoting chunks of religious text to make their case. But this probably doesn’t help to settle the argument, as every religion’s holy book is a chaotic mixture. The Old Testament is like an episode of The Sopranos written by someone on crack, with prophets murdering children for calling them "baldhead" and nations destroyed with locusts. But most of us can pass a church without thinking "we should deport those loonies, they want to turn you into a pillar of salt".
- Mark Steel, The Independent
As the history of Paris shows, extreme violence often inspires further violence. The bloody cycle continues, just as it has always done. But attributing its causes to millions of law-abiding French Muslims is as cynical as trying to blame it on a small group of artists and writers.
- Nabila Ramdani, The Guardian
We've reached the stage in our household where we hide front pages and cover up pictures of more slayings, trying to shield our 9 and 7 year olds. What world are we bringing them into? What will the future be like for them, when in the present, a policeman begs for mercy and is shot dead in a Paris street? We attempt to teach them that not all Muslims are like that, very few in fact.
- Chris Blackhurst, The Independent
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