I don't want to write too much about those awful Paris murders, there are people who can do that far better than I, but I fail to understand how a few silly drawings can possibly justify the murder of twelve people. I'm not easily offended, and I can't think of a single religious joke that is going to offend me, but then I'm not a believer.
Besides, we chose to be offended, it isn't a given. When I stop to think about it there are things that do offend me - child abuse, fanatical murder, a world where freedom of speech seems to be getting harder each passing day - I can get quite angry. Of course, I wouldn't murder for any of these things, but then I'm not a murderer. Allah is just an excuse.
Today someone I know put forward the view that those French cartoonist had been pretty stupid to poke fun at religion, particularly Islam. He said that they should have known that they would be targeted and killed. I found his view offensive, but I didn't kill him. He's entitled to his view even though I don't believe that people with sharp pencils and even sharper wits deserve to die for their doodles.
If belief can make men do the things they do in the name of some unseen being then I don't want any part of it. Oh I know that it isn't really about religion, I know it's more about the individuals involved, and I know that if it wasn't the good name Allah then these murderers would find another reason to kill. But for me it's just one more nail in God's coffin, regardless of the God. Mysterious ways? My arse. Jehovah, Allah, Jesus Christ, Vishnu - damn your names and the people that kill and maim for you in your names; to my mind you are no better than the devil - worse probably, at least the devil admits to his evil.
There, I wasn't going to say much, but I have. Maybe too much. Not enough to get me murdered though surely?