Charlie Hebdo – it’s not about cartoons

What happened yesterday in Paris is nothing to do with cartoons. It’s nothing to do with religion. It’s just a killing spree.

Any suggestion that it is about cartoons is to suggest that you are blaming the victim for getting themselves shot. If you said “they were asking for it” about a rape victim, you’d be rightly shunned. So why is it okay to say it here?

Everyone who kills people has an excuse. Most are quite sure they are justified, have a point to make and have right on their side. But in reality, killing people is never justifiable unless they are actively trying to kill you. And shooting a wounded policeman lying on the ground begging for mercy in the back of the head is not the kind of act that can be justified by anything at all. So remember, this is not about press freedom.

This is not about cartoons. This is just a murderous killing spree. Plain and simple. Like Mumbai or Westfield Mall or any number of school shootings for which we struggle to find a reason.

The protagonists did not even believe in anything strongly enough to martyr themselves. They hid their faces and had an exit strategy/escape plan.

This was just killing for the sake of it. They just happened to pick targets which enabled them to manufacture enough of an excuse in their own minds to make it okay.

In fact, several of the victims were Muslims, so even that makes no sense.

Don’t do the same.

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