As someone who grew up between two cultures, I have been fascinated with the question of why men and women with similar backgrounds to mine were drawn towards radical messages of hate and violence. Was it a response to Western foreign policy, to the position of Muslims in the world? Did it come from an inevitable clash of diametrically opposed cultures?
I have watched the spread of violent extremism and jihadism across Europe and the UK with dismay, particularly given my history of experiencing threats, abuse and harassment by Muslim fanatics. This personal concern, mixed with my curiosity as a film-maker, inspired me to look beneath the surface of these movements: to talk to the people involved - to try to find out how and why they became radicalised.
Freedom of speech is a human right, and the foundation upon which democracy is built. Any restriction of freedom of speech is a restriction upon democracy. We must defend democracy using its own mechanisms, through explaining and exemplifying its merits rather than through the heavy-handed and arbitrary silencing of its critics.
Nothing will or can ever validate the actions of those who effected this unforgivable massacre, and the elimination of terror must be realised, without concession. BUT - if attenuating bloodshed and trauma for entire nations matters, it may also be best not to mindlessly encourage anyone else to 'be Charlie'.
Tony Blair, seen by some as one of the worst because of the so-called illegal and immoral war in Iraq, last week offered a stark analysis of Radical Islam, this century's "biggest threat to global security" on a par with environmental and economic challenges. The speech was derided by those who think that shouting warmonger suffices but merits close inspection.
Is gender equality an issue that can be assigned to the conventional notions of left and right? Undoubtedly, it stretches across the political pantheon. But more importantly - is anti-Islamism now a stance the left and right can unite over? This is a discussion that needs to take place outside Westminster.
Students and staff should not be subjected to hate and menaces. Universities are supposed to be places of enlightenment, tolerance, liberalism and human rights. It is shocking the way many student Islamist societies are promoting hate preachers who are anti-Semitic, sexist, homophobic and who abuse fellow Muslims.
Reading University and students union have praised the university's Muslim Society, despite its bid to host the "kill the gays" Islamist preacher, Abu Usamah at-Thahabi. Thahabi had been invited to speak to the far right university Muslim Society as part of its Discover Islam Week. He endorses the murder of gay people and of Muslims who give up their faith.