It’s been a fortnight since the appalling attacks and assassinations in Paris, France. Much has been said and written on the subject during that time and it might seem there was nothing left to add that was relevant.
It was with some degree of dismay I read, or listened to, the comments of certain media individuals and bloggers, following the killings. Their responses seemed to indicate that the staff of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ were in some way responsible for their own deaths, for daring to defy the Muslim extremists by publishing satirical cartoons of the prophet, Mohammed.
Perhaps the most prominent of these was Pope Francis, who suggested that, ”If you insult my mother you can expect a punch.” Apart from his total disregard for the obvious Christian response of ‘turning the other cheek’, a punch on the nose hardly bears any comparison to the devastating effects of an AK47.
The whole argument of whether ‘Charlie Hebdo’ was right or wrong to publish items insulting to the Muslim faith is entirely irrelevant. There is only one consideration to be made. It is simply this:
If someone insults you do you have the right to assassinate them?
I would hope that Pope Francis, and all other commentators quick to criticize those who were murdered in cold blood on that black Wednesday in Paris, would answer an emphatic, “NO,” to that question.
Any other response would be unthinkable in a civilized society.