To free or not to free, there is no question!

Editorial Articles Jan 11, 2015 No Comments

This Wednesday 7th January 2015, 2 gunmen thought they were over the laws, over everyone, over the diversity of opinions; they’ve thought they were enough legitimate to impose their understanding of the world as the only one, they’ve decided they had to “correct” what’s wrong in the world; they murdered 12 people and injured 4 others. As the World Trade Center was a symbol of American proud, Charlie Hebdo was a figurehead of “à la française” freedom of expression.

Certainly the comparison is maybe too strong by the extent of these two events: 2823 deaths in New York and in Virginia (Pentagon), 17 in Paris; 19 international killers in the USA, 3 French killers in France. But there are commons facts such as that 2 important symbols were aimed, that so many people (included from other countries that the one aimed) share the same sadness, want to feel and prove that Solidarity is not only a word.

It’s not easy to write about these subjects: press, liberty, freedom, murders, international madness, failure of politicians, dangerous bastards,… mankind actually. I didn’t receive a journalist education, I am certainly not an expert about these questions and I don’t know all that spies agents know (fortunately, with no doubt!). But I was raised by a Secular, Public and Republican school and I have the great fortune to have parents who have always allowed me to search, try, discuss and shape my own opinion. And thanks to previous women and men, thanks to the Constitution which rules my country, I was allowed to express it. Freedom of opinion and expression is not only a Press appanage but have to be worn by everyone, from artists to citizens. Charlie Hebdo decided to use satirical way to exaggerate what is wrong in the world following their ideas (without any distinction about who, how or what) but not with the aim to impose their judgment but to let everyone think. Agree with them or not have certainly not to enter in equation and, to go further, kill someone can never have any good reason.

From this attack was born “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie [Hebdo]): a hashtag (one of the most popular since the starting of Twitter) and a picture used through the world.

Many in France said there will be a before and an after Charlie Hebdo slain… bof! As it was supposed to be for the 9/11? With no doubt there are a lot of differences (among them repeated trials from the French Government to restrict liberties) but certainly not in the tolerance and comprehension! The USA made many wars against islamists and the result is, unfortunately, perfectly illustrated by the situation in Afganistan!

And what about the sacred national coalition? Even in France, the Wednesday some (dangerous idiots if I may say) French people shared (mainly on Twitter) their totally lack of feeling for what happened; and the day after, without ignoring the same feeling of sadness that the majority, more people (French or not!) questioning this national union. Interesting fact to underline: there were not only the citizens who undermine this “national union”, many politicians were the most stupid about this point when they demanding to the French Muslims to dissociate themselves from the Islamists and these attacks. As they had any common pieces together! This is intolerable, insufferable. Finally, Sunday marches were certainly the occasion for around 4 millions people (French or not) everywhere in France to repeat these principles of Liberty and sadness and against terror too but the Parisian march was also used by politicians (separated by the main march for “security reason”) to shape an assumptive international union for the Press freedom… that’s why you could see on the start of the Republican march, representatives of Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates (for example)…
Actually, I think that there is a misunderstanding there: it’s not a question of French unity (we are certainly not ready for this) nor crying satirical journalists (not more than the 13 other people) or defend the Charlie Hebdo magazine without any questions (it will be so against all their principles: thinking). Here, the real and important point is the defense of freedom of expression, against everything and everyone. That’s why so many people through the world are thinking they are concerned by these attacks. “We are free and not afraid” shouted marches participants this Sunday 11th.

If you are listening French news, there is only information (or, often, comments) on Charlie Hebdo. Nothing else. What about the rest of the country? What about the rest of the World?! In the same time, Boko Haram killed 2000 people, one city and 5 kilometres around it were totally destroyed, people slained without any mercy. What about them?! Nothing until Saturday for the more quick French Medias.

From the moment Western countries are not able to watch something else than their own businesses and so ignore other countries, from the moment “wow news” are occupying more place than information and reflection, from the moment we are not able to listen without any partiality and financial/political/personal interests, nothing will change.

I read somewhere that tolerance is before everything a practice. If we perfectly know that our “elite”, politicians and decision makers are too slow and incompetent, we also know that, we, as individuals and citizens, can do a lot!

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

These words are not only concepts!

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” Helen Keller


Helene Herniou

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