Freedom is freedom. The line is the line. There are no grey areas. Violence is never the answer. The West Island speaks out

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Religions all have one thing in common, they teach love, tolerance, acceptance and a high standard of goodness.  A belief that human beings should be kind and treat each other with respect, to help each other is the religion of humanity no matter the organized religion that one practices.

We all want the same basic kindness and find ourselves moved when we experience it.  We need to practice the religion of humanity here at home where speech is free and show the world how it is done.  We need to stand as one in respect for each other always not just during the tragic moments.

We have the luxury of freedom. 

Speak freely, speak with respect. Speak with care because with freedom of speech comes great power to express ideas and also an ability to destroy with a single stroke of the pen.  

Given the recent tragedy at Charlie Hebdo, we need to remember that freedom of speech is not a given and should not be taken for granted.  We must join together in solidarity against the threat to our freedom.  Stand as one.

A wise man once said, “Freedom is freedom.  The line is the line. There are no grey areas.  Violence is never the answer. “

Here are some heart felt words from members of our community:

May we honour the victims by continuing to exercise our freedom of speech.My condolences to the families. Their lives are changed forever.  

Francesca Corso
Executive Director Big Brothers Big Sisters of the West Island

2. Publication that feeds racism, sexism, Islamophobic messages is violence in the making if its considered first level information. We have to educate more on the difference between information and entertainment. What is first level information and second level information? I am horrified by this tragedy and afraid of the impact it will have on the muslim community. Nothing can clearly justify this horror. I blame isolation and mental health a,k.a social poverty. Let us learn from this event that fear of differences is responsible of these actions.

Benoit Langevin,
Director General and Cofounder of
Action jeunesse de l’Ouest-de-l’Île

3.
This attack was an act of terrorism not only on the employees of a publication in France, but on all open-minded people who believe in freedom of expression. Our sympathies are extended to the families of the victims, and we will keep them in our prayers.  We join the chorus of voices rising up against this heinous act, and we hope that those responsible for this horror are quickly brought to justice by the authorities in France.  As Canadians, we recognize that this happened an ocean away, but we feel close to those who condemn this violent act. 

Heather Holmes Director General Lakeshore hospital foundation

4.

Karen Messier.

In the aftermath of all the shock and sadness, I have been so impressed by the reaction of cartoonists, journalists and everyday people from around the world who have joined forces in strength to speak out for freedom of the press, as millions proclaim #JeSuisCharlie.

Karen Messier, City Councillor Beaconsfield
 

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