Voltaire said that he might not like what you say, but he would defend to the death your right to say it.
The wisdom of the Enlightenment philosopher is lost on fanatics such as the terrorists who killed journalists and police in Paris.
The satirical French magazine’s sin? Publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, so much that Charlie Hebdo has been the subject of threats before. One of the police officers who died was assigned to guard the deceased editor Stephane Charbonnier.
About 7.5 percent of France’s population is Muslim, and the immigrants, too often marginalized in society and keeping to their own insular communities, are seen as a threat to France’s cultural identity — not to mention its tradition of a secular state.
Sometimes the grievances of the Muslims have been expressed in riots, particularly in the sprawling suburbs of Paris. Integration into the French way of life has occurred for many immigrants but obviously not fast enough: A witness at Charlie Hebdo said the assailants spoke perfect French.
As the state of the Union that is most attached to our ancestors’ birthplace, Louisiana mourns with the victims. As Gov. Bobby Jindal said, the United States should do everything it can to help with the apprehension of the guilty. We are confident the government will aid our allies and cousins in any way possible.
What we cannot do is persuade the violent and irresponsible that Voltaire was right.