The people of France and most people on the planet are horrified by fanatical savagery. Yesterday it hit Paris, the city of lights, where the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was adopted 225 years ago. It goes without saying that each one of us has their own analysis of the origins of the current state of affairs in the Middle East, of the West's responsibility, and of our own. I've personally addressed these points many times and shared my findings and beliefs. All the same, the means employed to combat terrorism are subject to various assessments.
There is, however, a time for everything. Today is the time for compassion, for solidarity and unity in the rejection of all relativism. Rarely is there a situation when there's no confusion or ambiguity over the camps of the victims and the perpetrators; we are living in such a time.
When people adopt as their own the Spanish fascists' motto "Viva la Muerte," open fire on peaceful individuals in the places where they start their weekends, in a stadium, a concert hall, a restaurant, the terrace of a bar, on a busy street, fire and fire again on the unmoving bodies, on those fleeing, reload their guns and fire once again, then blow themselves up-- since they are without a doubt "human" and consequently possess free will, they are responsible. Relativism in the qualification of their actions is insupportable.
Tomorrow, we'll refer to geopolitics, we'll judge the strategies and reactions of our leaders, we'll attempt to predict the political consequences of this tragedy. Not today. Today is time to affirm your belonging to camp life, liberty and humanity, against that of oppression, cruelty and death.
It's the time for solidarity with all those who have been massacred, slaughtered, decapitated on the ground, for solidarity with the 220 Russian tourists who died on their way home after vacationing in Egypt, solidarity with the over 40 Lebanese citizens from working-class neighborhoods in the south of Beirut who were torn apart by bombs, solidarity with over 120 Parisians spending a peaceful evening to start the weekend, who were murdered without mercy.
Vive la vie, long live life, long live the women and men who aspire to be free and happy! No to the lovers of death, the enemies of humanity. To fight them without mercy would be to resolutely refuse to follow in the footsteps of their deadly passions, to refuse to imitate them in thoughts and actions.
The values attacked here are those of democracy and humanism: to defend them is also to never abandon them ourselves.
This post first appeared on HuffPost France. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.