The commentators 13-01-15
...on Charlie Hebdo
The whole French establishment has been reluctant to acknowledge the residue of anger felt among a former colonised people. It denies the flaws in the doctrine of assimilation that requires the six million immigrants and their descendants to meld into a supposedly colour-blind national family.
- Charles Bremner, The Times
No one wants to hamper the security services, but at the same time we must be extraordinarily careful not to harm the essence of our freedom. That was surely one message that welled up from the march for liberty, equality and fraternity in Paris on Sunday – a message all those killed at Charlie Hebdo would undoubtedly have subscribed to.
- Henry Porter, The Guardian
We weren’t Charlie for long. In France they marched in numbers not seen since Liberation Day. But here, the whispers have already begun. Yes, we do have the right to free speech. But should we really be exercising it? In this way? At this time? After all, we do need to find a way of reaching an accommodation with moderate Islam. Maybe those who claimed the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo were excessively offensive have a point.
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
One unexpected and welcome effect of the terrorist attacks is that they have served as a reminder of what is right with France — as well as what is wrong. The millions of people who marched on the streets on Sunday were demonstrating that the national motto — “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” — is more than a phrase, drawn from the French Revolution and taught to bored schoolchildren. These are living ideas that France has rallied around now that they are under deadly assault.
- Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
The response to last week’s terrorist murders in Paris has followed a familiar pattern. To begin with there was horror that such an atrocity should take place in broad daylight on the streets of one of Europe’s great cities. This was swiftly followed by outrage. Then came defiance, exemplified by the march in the French capital on Sunday attended by grim-faced world leaders and more than one million banner-waving Parisians. Now: the backlash.
- Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph
We should take little notice of the political posturing and pompous platitudes in Paris on Sunday. If two million people had marched through London a fortnight ago, protesting against Islamist extremism and waving cartoons of the Prophet, the Government would have sent in the riot police and made hundreds of arrests for racially and religiously aggravated hate crimes.
- Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
The line of world leaders at the front of Sunday’s Paris demo was one giant selfie, a photo opportunity not to be missed by politicians shouting: “Look, we are with you – so vote for us.”
- Peter Hill, Daily Express
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