Manipulation and fanaticism are the breeding ground of terror. Only thus can we approach the attack against the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo and the murder of its editor, several of its cartoonists and journalists, as well as innocent people. This horrendous strike in Paris which has shocked the whole world has already become a symbol of enraged attacks against democracy and living together, and against freedom of expression and press. We must stand firm in the face of this barbarity that challenges civilisation so that reason and ideas, respect and beliefs may prevail over the pathology of fanaticism. This approach goes beyond the ideas of confrontation between the East and the West and construes humanity as a community with a shared destiny away from the clash of civilisations.
I have always advocated for dialogue and agreement as a means to progress towards global coexistence and security. I believe in alliance more than confrontation, since violence brings violence and only leads to suffering and destruction. Many efforts have been made to avoid belligerence and, moreover, we have the appropriate instruments to diminish its intensity and handle the solutions. This is the spirit that gave birth to the Alliance of Civilisations, which today, unfortunately, regains prominence after the slaughter at the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
All forums of the Alliance of Civilisations have highlighted the need to increase and allocate more resources to youth and education, and to the integration and social engagement of the various communities living together in western countries and in the East. The United Nations and the Alliance of Civilisations must urge the Arab-Muslim world to take on the rightful role it has to play and assist in strengthening the common front against the allegedly religious fanaticism. Pencils must keep on drawing lines in freedom because, should they be silenced, the basis of our democracies would be undermined; we cannot and must not mistake the tiny part of fanaticism for the whole made up of millions of believing and peaceful Muslims because otherwise, we would consent to the part blurring the whole.