by Marion Marks
The Charlie Hedbo attack in Paris was an assault on all western values of free speech. Any refusal to defend the right to make absurd political satire, even beyond the limits of Charlie Hedbo, is an acceptance that our values are only as good as our internal defenses. Terrorists of of the nature of the alleged Yemeni branch come in every form and from every sector of society, because at any moment a person’s acceptance of criticism might fail and they may feel justified in becoming “radicalized.”
“Becoming radicalized” is no more than a rationalization that the limits placed on citizens are no longer accepted, and a person feels justified in a form of vigilante law. Some might rationalize that the Boston Tea Party was a form of “becoming radicalized,” as a group actively revolted and destroyed property as a form of revolt. Yet the taking of lives in the form that this attack has been perpetuated is eerily similar to other historical events in western culture.
I chose to believe that the defense of freedom of speech stands apart and must be protected, at all costs. And IF we give in to this form of radicalism, even one small bit, we devalue western democratic values. So, yes, “Je suis Charlie!”