The terror attack in Paris today on the offices of satirist magazine Charlie Hebdo, like every other terror attack, was a pointless, senseless tragedy. It was heartening though to see the French out en mass holding up pens in a tribute to free speech as much as in sympathy for those slaughtered by crazy jihadists. But it brought to mind another thought.
The pen is mightier than the sword. Today, it wasn't exactly the case, but in general that;s a truism because the pen is a metaphor for an idea. An idea can survive a person being slaughtered because once ideas are born they cannot simply be killed out of existence. There are still people who identify with Nazism and Hitler's ideas, and those were some really, really bad ideas.
The point is that while so many people are not on board for a holy war in the Middle East to eradicate radical Islam, they don't always realize that a war can be waged with a pen rather than a sword. Right now, an all out war on the evils of these radicals is what is needed. These attacks will continue, and without a worldwide condemnation from the West, the East and from the Muslim world itself, they will continue. The idea that this is pure evil must take root and it must be driven home around the world. Jihadists should see themselves not as martyrs and heroes but as wrong. That starts by spreading the word that that is what they are
I urge anyone out marching, holding a pen, to let it not be a simple vigil but also serve as a symbol of a future effort to truly share the idea that needs to be shared, and to educate the uninformed - radical Islam is evil and will not be tolerated. Period.