This blog is written by Alexandre Leboucher, a One Young World Ambassador from France.
On this day, 8 January, 2015, my heart bleeds and I cannot think of anything other than the barbarians who came with bullets and mowed down at least 12 people at Charlie Hebdo.
Words fail me in the quest to describe this heinous terrorist act. Through these assassinations, the whole of France was attacked.
Facing such brutality, what attitude should we adopt?
In a time when controversial anti-Islam rallies continue to unite people across Germany. It is essential to show national unity in order to face this attack and stand together against possible future attacks.
Everywhere in the world, there are barbarians who seek to set fire to our societies, because of foolishness, because of fear, because of madness. Never believe that these fools represent a structured alternative to our societies. They are jesters of the worst kind.
In France, in the year 2015, you can die for your ideas, drawings or words. Journalism as a profession is a passion that feeds on freedom of expression. It is also sometimes a fight, but a fight with words and art. This act of barbarism makes more precious the chance to have a free and independent press in France. It is clear that this blow to democracy is grave.
Charlie Hebdo was a target for intolerance of all kinds. It must now become a symbol: a symbol of resistance to fanaticism and fury of every kind. By attacking a satirical newspaper, which, like other media represents freedom of speech, the very foundation of rule of law has been targeted.
Nothing justifies the unjustifiable. No human life should be sacrificed on the altar of ideology.
While our brothers and sisters died for freedom of expression and the fight against human stupidity, today we must send a message of commitment to building a society that refuses fear and advances firmly on the path of freedom and the respect of every child, every woman and every man in all their differences.
Today, we are neither left nor right, we are French. Leaving aside partisan divisions and more than ever we advocate for national unity. President Hollande, we are behind you and with you, protect us.
Let us be stronger than these murderers, we must not close in on ourselves, we must continue to defend freedom, the most fundamental value of our nation.
Those who attacked Charlie Hebdo are not Muslims, they are terrorists. Give a signal of peace, strength, commitment to humanity, a signal of secular democracy respectful of all religions in this their most beautiful forms. All religions are beautiful when they preach the love of neighbors, welcoming the stranger, and the construction of a peaceful world.
Humanity has progressed thanks to two aspirations: freedom and equality. Those who targeted Charlie Hebdo attacked the freedom of all people on earth, without exception.
We do not always know what will bring us together. Will it be our diversity, our analyses and opinions, or our beliefs and convictions?
Today, the answer appears in this evidence: what unites us is our common humanity, that which the assassins have declared war upon. This common humanity is rich and powerful, she gives us the courage to defend freedom.
There are rare situations where a slogan replaces long speeches. This situation is one of them: Vive la Liberté!