As many of you no doubt have heard about, 12 people were killed in at the office of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in what is apparently an Islamist attack over cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. Instantly I’m reminded of the whole controversy revolving around a series of Danish cartoons of Mohammed that were published in 2005, though I don’t think Jyllands-Posten was attacked like Charlie Hebdo was. Funny enough, Jyllands-Posten have themselves decided to increase security in the wake of the attacks. France’s president has declared the incident a terrorist attack and the gunmen behind attack are now the subject of a manhunt while France is on highest-level terror alert and holding a national day of mourning.
Naturally, this is a time to remind ourselves that freedom is sacred, and we should be concerned about the state of liberty in the world today. I also think the arm of justice should do its part in the protection of liberty (after all where is freedom without justice?), and make an example of the attackers in the harshest way possible instead of surrendering our liberties. Why? Because if we don’t send a message that any attack on anyone’s liberties will not be tolerated, then who’s to say more people won’t start coercing more people into surrendering their liberties? If we let people attack our liberties, then they will because they think they can, and then liberty will be replaced by oppression and terror as liberty and justice falter, and that cannot be allowed to happen.
But we must also remember that terrorists aren’t the only people who work destroy our liberty. In fact, can you ever rely on your politicians to protect your liberty? Sure, the other politicians in the rest of the world are presently condemning the actions of the terrorists and squacking about how they feel about the threat to the values of freedom of expression, but they’re the same people who are out for control over liberty, and if they ever thought for a moment that they could get away with degrading the liberty of the individual, they would. The only difference is they can’t afford to make it look like they’re letting terrorism win (which is probably rightfully so).
So don’t let liberty falter. Don’t let terror win over the hearts and minds of the people.