The first bit is just a little update and explanation for my absence. If you want to see the actual blog post feel free to skip the beginning 🙂
You can say it. I’m horrible and I lied. I won’t judge you. But yes, all these great plans I had went down the drain. I sincerely apologise. I honestly do.The summer holidays (or ‘vacation’ for you Americans) turned into the new school year, which then turned into the Christmas holidays, after which I had mock exams to prepare for, and before long I realised that I’d left my blog abandoned for five months. This 2015 I decided that it was time to get my act together and one of my resolutions (which always turn out so well) is to write more. So here goes. I shall not make any schedule promises for fear of disappointment, mainly to myself. So here goes to a year of great blogging!
…And here’s the actual blog post
Masses of people turn up in their thousands across every main landmark in every main city in the world. All loaded with their many signs and words and coated in a suit of solidarity. ‘Je Suis Charlie’ they chant, huddled together and screaming freedom in their loads. A plethora of flags stand out against the greying crowds; unity, compassion, and understanding. Together they form a wall of unmovable magnitude; a bankrupt magazine becomes one million, then three, and five million it produces. ‘All is forgiven’.
‘Is it really?’ one asks oneself. Look at it this way. I condemn murder with every beat of my heart, for whatever reason it may be and whatever reasons are given. Killing is absolutely and undoubtedly wrong. But so are abuse, hatred and discrimination. If I were to call someone ugly in school, or in the workplace, that is unquestionably offensive. If I criticised their appearance again and again that would be called bullying, a form of abuse, and would still be deemed offensive, even hateful. That behaviour would not be tolerated and it would certainly not be categorised under freedom of speech, because even though, yes, we are each entitled to our own opinions, outwardly speaking an opinion that is deemed as hurtful is frowned upon. We are taught from a young age that bullying is wrong, that we should be kind and love one another, and if there really is someone we don’t like, which is inevitably true to everyone, to keep our thoughts to ourselves and “beat them with kindness”.
So why is this any different? This magazine which has continuously published sexist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic material, material that causes offence and incites hatred, is accepted and fought for. If abuse is not permitted on an individual basis, it certainly should not be permitted on a mass basis, where even more people are hurt by it. There is a line between simply being allowed to speak out about your political or musical opinions, and disrespecting huge populations of the world. There is no humour in being spiteful.
Why are we all demonstrating under the name of a magazine that injured and made fun of so many people’s cultures and beliefs? Why can’t we all be Ahmed, the Muslim police officer who died in defending the very people who offended his religion, or Lassana Bathily, who hid customers during the supermarket shootings, saving 15 precious lives?
We should strive to aim for global unity,a unity that can’t be attained whilst hatred continues to exist, and we should honour those who act selflessly to protect others.
So finally: ‘Je suis l’unité’