Extremism should not limit our freedom


The attack on Charlie Hebdo is an assault on democracy, on free media and on freedom of expression and the values that guides our work at Global Reporting,– democracy, human rights and freedom of speech. For us communication will always remain a vital tool to strengthen democracy, create dialogue and increase respect for human rights.

We must not allow extremism, intolerance and violence to set the limits of freedom. The forums for conversation and opinion must be open and protected. Yet the opinions must be respectful of other beliefs and cultures. The people who feel offended by irony have the right to protest but never with violence. Humour as a weapon in the struggle for democracy does not kill.

This attack is not an act driven by religious belief, but of individuals with extreme thoughts. It could also be seen as an attempt to provoke European society to even further allienate Muslims, at which point extremist recruitment could be more successful. Ironically, one of the two policemen they killed was a Muslim.

We must not let these actions by extremists blind our judgement and stir up racism. Now, more than ever, it is important to use peaceful and respectful communication and dialogue. We will all benefit from the right to free thoughts and freedom of expression.

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