What can one say about the terrible events that unravelled on the 7th and 8th of January, other than to speak of the horror and fear provoked by these abhorrent murders.
These deplorable individuals wanted to destroy the most fundamental values of the French Republic in the name of an Islam that has nothing in common with such vile acts.
In their cowardly attack of a satirical newspaper, and their killing in cold blood, it was the very principle of freedom of thought that they wanted to destroy. They have failed !
Time and again, tragic events throughout history have shown that it is not possible to destroy the essence of our democracies : freedom of thought an expression. They will have a lasting impact, and collectively we should all draw lessons from these events so that they are never again repeated. The huge strength of feeling that they have rightfully stirred up must find continuation in unwavering determination at all times, so that each citizen becomes the vigilant guardian of such a valuable asset as is democracy.
By definition, associations have a role to play in developing future citizens, particularly those aimed at young people. It is important in a modern and vibrant society for one to be aware of their rights but also their obligations, to learn to live in society, to recognise difference as enriching, to be critical of all dogmatic thought and to reject over-simplifications.
The opposite leads only to dead ends as these sad individuals, these lost souls, tragically demonstrated. Confronted by barbarism we remain standing, committed to upholding democratic values. This is the tribute we can play to those who lost their lives for them.
The President Francis Bouten