I strongly condemn the murder of journalists working for the magazine Charlie Hebdo, members of the police force and other individuals, committed in Paris on 7 January 2015, and I wish to express my sincere condolences to the families of the victims.
Such brutal criminal acts cannot be justified and demand the most severe punishment. At the same time, it is important to point out that the blame is not to be universally placed on Islam or any other religion or worldview, which the perpetrators often invoke to justify their actions.
In today’s globalized world, the coexistence of people belonging to different nations, cultures and worldviews is necessary; it is a continuous challenge for all of us to strive for the most peaceful coexistence possible. The only way to achieve this is to put up a vigorous defence and to patiently foster the fundamental values of the contemporary Euro-American civilization: freedom (including the freedom of speech), democracy, tolerance and intercultural understanding.
doc. Mirjam Friedová, Ph.D.
Dean, Faculty of Arts, Charles University