THE BLOG

To the Murderers Who Attacked Charlie Hebdo

08/01/2015 13:09 GMT | Updated 10/03/2015 09:59 GMT

It is quite clear that you do not care about the loss of life and suffering that you have caused. It is quite clear that you have no regard to the friends and family of your victims or to the people of France. You clearly lack the conscience to recognise that what you did was fundamentally immoral and sickening to all right-minded people. There is no point in asking you to reflect on right and wrong. I ask you instead to reflect on the utter futility of those murders and the impact to the faith you claim to follow.

There may be blood on your hands, but your actions have far wider consequences than you may care to admit. You do not realise what you have done, the impacts you have had on global political opinion or the freedom of moderate Muslims to practice their religion in peace. Consider what you have achieved. In the days leading up to your massacre we saw the far right take to the streets of Germany. By your actions you give fuel to their hatred. The far right in the UK - parties such as the BNP - have been utterly defeated. By your actions you have raised the spectre of the return of such unsavoury organisations.

You have set back the cause of tolerance and understanding of Muslims in Europe. Few members of the general public are aware of the differences between Sunni and Shi'a, between Suffi and Wahabi, just as few would be able to explain the difference between Protestant and Catholic. Although your beliefs do not represent those of Muslims in any way, shape or form, in the minds of many people you will have associated them with your actions.

You have sharpened pencils across the world, those who will stand in solidarity with the #jesuischarlie hashtag. How many more cartoons to which you object have you caused to come into being? How many people will develop racist attitudes as a result of what you have done?

You may well have been offended by those cartoons. I might well take offence at some of the things which are said and done against my own faith. But violence is never the answer. It achieves nothing but setting the people against you. When crowds gather in France and across Europe, they stand in a show of defiance against what you believe. You can not, and will not, prevail.

I ask you, which does the greater damage to Muslims: the pencil of those who draw cartoons, or the senseless murder of innocents who have committed no crime?