Noon, on a cold, grey, windswept Friday in Buxton. We are miles from France and from the tragedy and horror that is unfolding on an Industrial Estate on the outskirts of Paris, three of us standing by the cenotaph with our flimsy posters, echoing the cry that has gone round the world, “Je Suis Charlie”. There are only the three of us. We offer a small, silent, but heart felt tribute to the slaughtered cartoonists and the policeman, to those who dare to challenge and mock make believe religions, and the hypocrisy of politicians, and those who protect citizens regardless of their faith or lack of it ,and so are deemed to deserve to die by two very stupid and ignorance men.
The Cenotaph is an appropriate place to make the tribute. The names carved into the stone, are the names of people, of different religions, of opposing political persuasions, yet who died together fighting together against their countries enemy.
People everywhere have joined together, gathered in squares, large and small, and expressed their horror, outrage, disgust and incomprehension at what has happened. People regardless of belief, religion, politics, colour, nationality or gender. They condemn the barbarity because they are human, and no matter how much you may disagree, or revile someone’s views, you use the pen not the sword, because that is what it means to be part of our humanity.
To those who perpetrate, or sanction the killing of people because they offend an idea or a religious belief, I only wish that the part in your make believe religion that you call hell were true. For if it were you would surely be there, burning for all eternity.