Terror in Paris
The atrocities in the French capital last Friday have wounded the civilised world.
The despicable, inhuman and cowardly attacks by terrorists killed many, injured many more and have changed lives irrevocably.
My nephew is studying in Paris, and the terrible news brought a personal directness to the events.
He is safe and well, but my first thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives so brutally, so unnecessarily.
Even as they were being evacuated from the Stade de France, the overwhelming message from survivors was one of defiance, and the solidarity of nations and faiths against terrorism has united political and religious leaders worldwide.
The reaction has proved that terrorism is ultimately futile.
The deliberate targeting of civilians including children is abhorrent to all but the perpetrators, and terror attacks serve no purpose other than the politics of hate and fear.
These strikes achieve nothing other than to further the international community’s resolve to defend freedom, democracy and tolerance.
Bullying with bombs and weapons is still bullying: it has never persuaded or coerced anyone.
I hope the world’s news media, in its reporting of these murders, understands that polarised news has and will cause repercussions but, more frighteningly, could stall refugee resettlement efforts and fuel support for the farright across Europe.
The world has been wounded certainly, but democracy and the human right to choose any religion or none are undefeated.