In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris last week, we’ve seen millions of people post messages of support for those killed in Paris.

There’s an aspect of the reaction that’s been frustrating to me that I’d like to draw attention to however. It seems that whenever there’s an act of Islamic extremism, there are prominent members of the media and politicians the world over who try to link the actions of a few with every member of the Islamic faith.

Case in point, media-mogul and known Twitter troll Rupert Murdoch had this to say about last week’s events:

This caused an immediate firestorm of criticism for obvious reasons. One of the most poignant responses though was from JK Rowling:

When these conversations arise it’s always worth nothing that Islam is a religion of 1.6 billion people worldwide, the vast majority of whom see violent Jihad as a foreign-just like most non-muslims.

Right now, the global community is still reeling from the brutality of the attacks in Paris. The coming weeks will be difficult ones as we all engage in long overdue conversations about freedom of speech and how we can learn to live with those we disagree with.

As these conversations happen - there are two things we should keep in mind.

1) Globally, things aren’t going near as poorly as we think they are.

While it may not seem like it when we read our news feeds or open a paper, we are living through one of the most peaceful times in human history.

2)    Multiculturalism isn’t a choice, it’s an imperative.

The world is only getting smaller. Healing the wounds caused by a violent few won’t be easy, but we have to realize that demonizing the peaceful majority of Muslims around the world won’t help make these attacks any less frequent. Indeed it will likely only strengthen those seeking to divide us further.

Perhaps Rowling said it best through the mouth of Albus Dumbledore: “Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust.”

While it’s not always easy, it’s during times like this when our commitment to Global Citizenship is most important. J.K. Rowling’s got the right idea: let’s follow suit. 


Tom Blake

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Demand Equity

J.K. Rowling just dropped the mic on Rupert Murdoch's twitter nonsense