S:     “Je Suis Charlie” is turning into a major slogan, I’m glad to see that. This always is the paradox of terrorism; they try to scare people into submission and divide them, only to instil greater solidarity and courage in them.

A:     I’m not too sure about that. The world looks quite divided to me. The outpour of hate against Muslims is unprecedented. Solidarity might not be as great a thing as we think it is. Solidarity would have us become one with the victims, a symbol of our sorrow, but it is just that: a powerful symbol. Oneness with the victims has us becoming a solid mass of bodies, united in our emotion. It has us reject our individual thought and take up the banner of the victim. It is an emotional place, not a logical one.

S:     I’m not sure I follow. Isn’t that the point of showing solidarity, support for the victims' ideals?

A:     Let me explain. Everyone who takes up the call of “Je Suis Charlie” does it to stand behind freedom of speech and to denounce the violence which would seek to curtail it; that is the intended consequence. Yet, in solidarity, we take up the mantle of the victims, an unintended consequence. Let’s be honest here, as much as I despise the attack and mourn the victims, we must accept the cartoons were in bad taste; they were deliberately insulting, and propagated the subjugation of an already threatened minority. But here we are reprinting them left, right and centre.

S:     I see your point, condemnation of one act must not mean the automatic endorsement of its recipient, but I feel there is no stronger way of condemnation than this. Just like you said, “solidarity is just that, a strong symbol”. I’m sure the world is aware of the distinctions. After all, racial profiling is still a burning issue in the world, and solidarity won’t sweep it under the rug.

A:     I guess you haven’t scoured the hash tag, “Je Suis Charlie” the same way I have. I see a lot of hate, and very little perspective.