Freedom has been attacked. Yesterday, America awoke to blaring headlines about a terrorist attack in France that has claimed 12 lives so far. As of the writing of this article, the gunmen have yet to be captured, leading many to fear that more bloodshed will follow. Terrorists slaughtered members of a satirical newspaper simply because of what they wrote or drew. The magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was known for being extremely edgy, often mocking religious figures, and religion in general, along with a slew of politicians. However, this attack was not a response to bad taste. This was an attack by radical Islamic terrorists on the freedom of every western country that stands up to terrorism. An excerpt from the NATO charter sums it up best: “An attack on one is an attack on all…”
Terrorists don’t care about freedom. They don’t care about allowing people to express themselves. They only care about imposing their radical beliefs on those they allow to live and killing anyone else who stands in their way. They chose to slaughter 12 people simply because they didn’t like what the writers and artists were legally producing. If trying to make the law of death subvert the law of the land doesn’t show the complete and utter insanity of radical Islam, I don’t know what does.
Freedom of expression, or freedom of the press, isn’t just a right that we associate with free countries; it is the basis of a free society. Being able to express your beliefs without fear of reprisal is what sets us apart from Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other deadlier-than-thou terrorists. Many people didn’t like what the authors of Charlie Hebdo published, but we would never dream of killing them over it. A fundamental linchpin of civilized Western society is that we have a right to say what we want, and to disagree with others who express their beliefs as well. This fundamental human right is under attack.
In America, we value freedom of speech almost more than anything else. We argue and bicker about just about every topic imaginable, but we treasure the right to disagree. From the political pundits at MSNBC screaming about how the rich have too much money and that anyone who even thinks of a gun ought to be jailed for crimes against humanity, to the right wing ravers at Fox News claiming that Obama is a illegal-terrorist-homosexual-communist-transvestite who is shipping us all to FEMA camps, we allow people to say just about anything. Often times we don’t like it. Often times the public will condemn people (either rightly or wrongly) for saying what they believe. But it is this marvelous competing clash of ideas that allows us to live freely. Whether they write lucid prose or drivel-filled gibberish, no journalist anywhere deserves to be executed for something they wrote.
If any good can come out of the carnage, perhaps it will be that we will finally start to take the threat of ISIS and other radical groups seriously. These terrorists who attacked France weren’t crazed nutjobs who picked up a shotgun and fired randomly. They were cold and calculated, moving through the streets with a chillingly professional attitude. They bore all the earmarks of professionally trained Jihadist soldiers who have killed before, and take pleasure in doing so. It takes a special type of monster to shoot an unarmed officer on the ground begging for his life. For months, we have been warned about the threat of trained Jihadists coming back home from Syria and Iraq and sowing mayhem in our streets. In France, that fear has become a reality. Maybe now our leaders will finally start to see the danger around us and act accordingly.
Canada, Australia, and now France, with the worst attack yet, have all experienced the horrors of radical Islamic terrorists. So far (with the exception of a hatchet attack on two NYPD officers in NYC, and a beheading in Oklahoma), America has yet to experience another deadly terrorist attack. Sadly, it is just a matter of time. We have grown careless since the days of 9/11 and even since the Boston bombing of 2013. We have a completely wide-open southern border. We have a growing section of the populace decrying our police officers, our first line of defense against the savage terrorists. We have concentrated more on bickering amongst ourselves over whether black lives matter more than all lives. We have ignored the world that is falling apart around us for to long. We need to wake up and see what is happening.
We live in a society based on freedom. We value our rights and have sacrificed heavily to defend them. Now, we stand with France, Australia, Canada, and every other country suffering from this Islamic terrorist threat. We stand with those who will stand up and fight terrorism. We will not go quietly. We will not allow these cowards, these murderers, to take away the freedoms we value. We will not back down. We will not stop fighting. We will not rest until every single person who wishes to do us harm and stop our way of life has been found and neutralized. We are Americans. We never give up. We never surrender.
We stand tall.
We stand proud.
WE STAND FREE.
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