In these days of social media saturation, whenever something bloody awful happens in the world you can be sure it will spawn some silly trending hashtag. The recent Sydney siege in Martin Place gave rise to #Illridewithyou, which was a hollow promise made by countless slacktivists concerned more about the feelings of Muslims on public transport than the lives of hostages being held by a crazed Islamist in a Sydney cafe.
Now, as a result of another coupla crazed Islamists running amok in the most barbaric way imaginable in Paris, we have #JeSuisCharlie. I suppose it's an improvement on the last hashtag because it at least seems to side with irreverent freedom of expression over murderous, humorless totalitarianism.
But apart from the fact that these fervent tweeps and Facebookers are not truly risking anything by simply including a word with a little symbol in front of it in their updates, quite often they'll include caveats about how they're not condemning Islam at the same time. Basically, they're trying to have it both ways.
This is galling because it's insincere. And to use a hackneyed phrase, it merely confirms that the terrorists have won. That's because they've got everyone terrified -- which is obviously the whole bloody point of terrorism. And the more they win using terror, the more they'll use it.
Basically, there's a war going on in all multi-culti democracies. Sure, it's a war being waged by a relatively small number of barbarians against western civilization and what it stands for. But it's a war nonetheless. These pre-mediaeval thugs walk among us, and have no hesitation in slaughtering innocents. And their violence is driven by Islamic ideology as much as anything else.
So either you are for western freedom against Islamic totalitarianism, or you're against it. You must take a side. If you're for it, then go hard or go home. Going hard would be republishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, or at the very least pointing out the elephant in the room and saying that Islam is the problem here.
Hell, if Bible-bashers had murdered those heaping derision on their religion (and Jeez, it's not like there's any lack of that now is there!) then I (and pretty much everyone else) would say that Christianity was the problem, right? So, in the same way, in this case, Islam is the problem here.
And for the benefit of any Muslims (devout or otherwise) who are reading this: If you think that slaughtering people who mock the Prophet is justified, you should either lighten up and get a sense of humour or grow a hide. Failing that, you should really reconsider if you want to even live in a western democracy. Because, frankly, it's high time you realized you are not a special case, okay! Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and all the rest cop massive serves of derision daily. And while they almost always don't like it, often arc up about it and even occasionally try to silence the mockers, they don't go around killing people because they were made fun of.
And back to the hashtaggers and their ilk: Given that we are in a war, then if you want to surrender, fine. But don't roll over in appeasement and simultaneously claim to be bravely standing up to barbarism. That's just silly and anyone with a heart, a spine and mind knows it.