A million or two, possibly more, people marched through Paris today, led by political leaders who knew that it was important for their standing at home for them to appear there, in a supposed support of the cartoonists murdered by Islamic extremists. An interesting event supporting those standing up to such extremist violence.
This however is France. France a nation capable of anti Jewish sentiment and one that may not notice the Muslim immigrant who saved many lives during the Kosher shop raid, but will notice how dangerous Muslims can be. This also is a nation that is well aware of the troubles caused by Islamic groupings in Africa, their troops have been based in Mali for some time now for that very reason, yet how much publicity was given to the 2000 killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria the other day? How many care if thousands are murdered in the Middle East or Pakistan daily? It is troubles at home that worry us, problems in distant lands about which we know nothing can be ignored for the most part.
I wonder how many claiming to also be 'Charlie' had actually read the magazine he edited? I had never heard of it, no surprise there, but how many French and looked at it or bought it - once? Few I suggest.
It may well be that underneath there is indeed a fear of extremists, which is understandable, or possibly anti-Muslim feeling now being allowed expression, it also may be the freedom to poke fun at or insult those we do not like being what many support. Not so much freedom of expression but freedom of their expression. These I say are the same individuals who scream with rage when what is important to them are laughed at or insulted. Like the 'Daily mail' and the 'Guardian' such demand a free press yet refuse to publish comments that disagree with them or indicate where they go wrong.
The 'Guardian' also dislikes the reference to 'Nazis' when they do this I have discovered.
Many differing opinions now coalesce into a movement with little depth. A great many will wish for a peaceful world where all are accepted, many keen on all sorts of 'equality' even if only for their grouping, many among the marchers will seek peace, others have just attended an 'event.' Once again an event has arisen from a tragedy and when politicians are involved the words flow long and loud very easily - but the suffering in Nigeria will not be eased by that!
We face trouble from several Islamic groups, none of them pleasant, most based in the Yemen or Iraq or Syria and out of our reach, except by bomber aircraft. Young men, especially men, will be tempted to see such marches as an attack on their Islam, preachers will already be indicating this to those willing to listen. A march for peace may well lead to more trouble to such men seeking a purpose in this world and a cause to fight for and who lack the world knowledge understand a wider picture.
I am wary of the reasons for the support for the cartoonists, I am wary of the words flowing onto our news sites, I know that much will be said and little actually done by the people who march. It is clear nothing will be done in Nigeria, the President is after all attempting to be re-elected, and missing schoolgirls, slaughtered villagers, and an increasing death toll in Muslim nations may be sad and indeed bad, but surely the west will consider our few dead are more important and little needs to be done, or indeed mentioned on our newscasts or papers about such as they?
God bless the news media, as long as cameras are available, and 'our people' are at risk. Three or four dead here are worth more in the media than a thousand or two dead way over there.