Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Press, are all manifestations of our right to express ourselves and our right to be exactly the persons we would like to. Any violance directly connected to those rights is a violation towards mankind, a step backwards in a process that needs to go forward! This is a serious situation not just in France, but everywhere in communities where democratic values allow people to stand up for their own view of life. Countries where these absolutely necessary rights are not allowed, should be questioned by the rest of the world, not once or twice, but over and over again!
I live in a country where I am allowed to have an opinion of my own and I understand that I am very fortunate. A blogger in Saudi Arabia who was sentenced to ten years for setting up a website for public debate, will apart from the ten years in prison also be flogged 1000 times. His ”crime” was helping fellow citizens to express their minds. I have lately had the chance to learn more about the conditions in a few countries with strong dictatorships. The meaningless killings the last few days in France was connected to democracy and our right to express ourselves in different ways. It is not a multicultural problem or a religious problem in Western societies, but terrorism with extremistic features. Blaming a certain religious group is contraproductive. Blaming militant extremism is however to see what it’s all about. Violence created in the name of the religion is not the same as THE religion. But when innocent people are killed we are frustrated and sad and may seek for a scapegoat to blame instead of manifesting our strong will to end violence in general and terrorism in particular.
Today the tragic events in France reminded me of how many relations one single person is involved with and how many roles each and one of us have. As an example, I am a daughter, a mom a wife a sister, an aunt, I am a teacher a friend and a lot more of course. The impact of the terror acts in France is thus very much a global problem. We need to be responsible for our acts.
If we are not Free to Live if someone else has an opposing viewpoint, we might need to address the issue of how easily weapons are spread worldwide? No guns means fewer killings. Terrorists with no guns will not stop being terrorists, but at least we give them a hard time. Sadly enough Swedish weapons are used worldwide, although it is said that ”we” are not selling to countries at war… If Sweden stop selling weapons and starts producing something more useful in Bofors, at least we made a contribution for peace. Yes. I know. Many of you will say that if there is no weapons, how could we fight terrorists???? I don’t know. Do you? If we are not Free to Live if someone else has an opposing viewpoint and we do absolutely nothing to prevent the continuous killing, we will lose in the end. Let’s not lose! My contribution will be writing. What is your contribution?
#Carl-Fredrik Reuterswärds ”Non-Violence” is placed outside the UN Building in NYC