This is a political, societal, religious, human rant. If that is not your thing, it’s ok not to read the rest of this post.
As you may already know from my IG feed, I was (and am) very affected by the events in Paris last week. It completely and totally occupied my mind for the whole three days and I am still reeling from the aftermath. I feel we are left with many questions and debates about a very complicated and difficult subject.

As is my habit when I have difficulty coping with something, I turned to my art journal. I drew the 12 victims of the shooting. This was before the hostage situation in the Jewish supermarket where four more people were murdered.

I was drawing while listening to the news and added quotes from the people who were speaking about the Charlie Hebdo caricaturists. The drawings that emerged in the following days were very moving to me. I wanted there to be a lot of hand drawn elements on my page.

I realise this is a very touchy subject. As you know, I am not religious so any kind of violence perpetrated in the name of a god is to me completely abhorrent. I cannot accept that a group or individual imposes their very narrow vision on the rest of the world in the name of a god that supposedly wrote something down centuries ago and that must be followed so dilligently. I was furious when the Taliban destroyed the giant Buddha statues in 2001, how is it possible that a few gunwielding clan chieftains could destroy statues built in the 6th century and that had survived Ghenghis Khan?

This is what is unacceptable to me : that violence can be used to irremediably destroy something or someone in the name of god. I am disgusted by this kind of thinking. Now, Charlie Hebdo was clearly irreverent in their cartoons, but they were so toward everyone, every entity, every political leader and every religion. Not just Islam. The Catholic Church brought them to court for diffamation; Islamists burned down their headquarters in 2011 and then murdered 12 journalists and cartoonists last week. There is a damn huge discrepency in the level of reaction.

I am sorry, but if you don’t agree with something in our society, there are ways of dealing with them that SHOULD NEVER involve killing people, butchering innocents, destroying works of art. I am sad for the Muslims around the world who are being scrutenized and forced to declare their disassociation with radical Islamists and at the same time, it cannot be silenced that the people taking up arms, kidnapping girls and using them as human bombs, beheading people who disagree with them, flogging bloggers and murdering supposed infidels (when actually they are trying the stifle ideas and basic human rights) are radical Islamists.

This is what I mean by ‘Je suis Charlie’. Religious intolerance should NEVER be condoned. Basic human rights including the right of expression must be defended tooth and nail and by this I mean the right to draw the prophet as much as the right for women and girls to go to school and get an education. I am against any group that thinks it is ok to kidnap women, to shoot girls in the head, to murder innocents, to butcher people running marathons in the name of a god. I cannot believe that said god would ask that or would even be offended that someone would make a statue of him/her/it in the fucking 6th century.

I think it’s important to keep talking and not to give in to fear.