Je Suis Charlie – You don’t need hats and beards to have a belief or faith


My french was never very good at school, despite having a french great great grandmother, but I remembered the verb to be. Given the events in Paris and the heinous crimes against humanity and freedom of expression I decided to use the verb to try to come up with a poem. I am firm believer in the rights of people to express their opinion. Voltaire said ‘I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it. ‘ (Attributed to Voltaire, but first used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall in the book “The Friends of Voltaire” 1906). This tenet has been used a lot over the past 24 hours but is something I passionately believe in. The more terrorists try to stop freedom of expression the more people will come out and fight with words and the pen. These people who commit acts such as the one in Paris and the slaughter of hundreds in the middle east have one doctrine. Control. It is about the control of knowledge, the control of women and an outdated sense of the power of men. What Charlie Hebdo stands for is the ability of people to laugh at the world around them, to be able to challenge those in positions of power, authority and that does include religion and hold them to account. A free-thinker is not subservient as these fanatics would like them to be. You don’t need hats and beards to have a belief or faith. True humanity is through your actions and the way you live your life.

Je suis Charlie

I am Charlie and I have the right to use my words

You are one amongst many but will be heard

He is the match that lights the fire

She is the breath that starts the choir

We are speaking with one voice

They are holding pencils high

They are

I will be determined to defend my right

You will be my friend in that fight

He will be seen and heard

She will be the guardian of the word

We will be one voice

You will be

They will be

They will be


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