Je suis Charlie – I am Charlie. The rallying cry is reverberating around the world of supporters of free speech and freedom of expression after the 7 January massacre in which 12 people were killed at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France.
The tragedy at Charlie Hebdo has provoked international debate over freedom of speech, forgiveness and the maturity of the global conversation.
Times are changing. We preserve our right to poke fun at incongruity, such as violence in the name of God. At the same time global outcry has demanded that we recognize Muslim extremist do not represent the beliefs of the faith of Islam any more than we can say the Klu Klux Clan represent the mainstream beliefs of Christianity.
The global conversation is maturing.
And the sad truth is it took 12 deaths of dedicated journalists to raise the bar of this conversation.
Forgiveness is the next conversation. How do we forgive such atrocity, without in any way endorsing it? Without forgiveness, we will perpetuate the cycle of hatred and indifference that leads to such acts.
It is time to call out the thought-leaders.
It is time that our planet began acting as one people who deeply care for each other.
Hatred is as much a response to indifference as is to hatred.
But I must first be outraged and angry.
Forgiveness is a conversation for tomorrow.
Je suis triste. I am sad.