Spirit of freedom

To the Editor:

I want to praise the Islander’s editorial and the editorial cartoon in the Jan. 15 issue.

The murder of 16 people in France “in the name of Allah” filled me with horror and sadness. The caricatures published in the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo were bringing to the political and religious arenas not only fun and humor but also were raising necessary questions about the arrogance, clumsiness and abuses by some institutions and individuals who exert power over our society.

There are dozens of political affiliations and hundreds of religious denominations in the world each with its own narrative, agenda, code of conduct and rites. Fortunately, many of those systems advocate peace and condemn violence.

In our country, at the moment, we can enjoy freedom of choice and freedom to vote, to participate or to abstain. Unfortunately, some political or religious systems advocate violence. They do so through slogans, edicts or fatwas based on hatred, racism, machismo or fear of an “enemy.” They abhor free speech, whistle blowers, journalists and caricaturists who challenge their power and encourage people to think.

I hope that the spirit of Charlie Hebdo will survive.

Robert Gossart

Salisbury Cove

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