• January 12, 2015


The attack on the French satirical magazine and the appalling journalistic toll that was exacted by deranged exponents of a form of Islam that almost all other Moslems abhor is justly condemned.

But amid all the brouhaha of supportive and condemnatory statements we need to keep a sense of perspective.

Cold blooded mass murder is not the sole prerogative of Islamic extremists and indeed both in France and other European States we need to recognise this.

For example there is little doubt now in anyone’s mind today that the United Kingdom government was involved in many attacks and bombings of innocent civilians in Ireland during the troubles. Bloody Sunday is well remembered but the Dublin and Monaghan bombings are also events for which terms used in the last few days to describe the Paris attacks. ‘mindless, coordinated, senseless murder’ could be applied. Those attacks are the worse for having been organised by the British government via its security services, the same security services that now want more power and more money to combat terror similar to that which they have wrought in the past.

Now lest anyone reading this is in any doubt this is not a ‘Bash a Brit’ article. Other States, the US and Russia, to name but two have also committed appalling crimes often against innocent people in the name of fighting terror. France herself has a chequered past and in her colonial wars in Indo-China and Algeria many ‘innocents’ perished.

France also even went beyond the pale with its attack on the non-violent Greenpeace organisation when it bombed and sank the ‘Rainbow Warrior’, with loss of life some years ago.

The bottom line here is that there is evil in the world and no doubt the fact the attackers of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ perished ultimately in a shoot out with French police will cause few to mourn. However, we should not forget the capacity of Nation States to also sometimes behave in a callous or barbaric way and we should ensure that any new powers or resources given to security services also come with adequate oversight and scrutiny.

The ability of ‘Charlie Hebdo’ to communicate its radical and satirical message was powered in no small part by the healthy scepticism that’s its staff had for the established order and State(s) excess. It would be a great irony if their deaths are used in anyway to extend the authoritarian ideal that they took a courageous stance against.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information

(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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