No, I won’t pray for Paris. I won’t pray for Paris just as I won’t pray for Beirut and Sharm-El-Sheikh and just as I haven’t prayed for Lockerbie (1983) — I was yet to be born, New-York (2001), Madrid (2004), London (2005), Marrakech (2011), Nairobi (2013) or any other place in the world that has been struck by acts of gruesome violence, however despicable they are.
I won’t pray for a world that seems to be offering nothing else than a place to suffer. I won’t pray for a world that sailed through two World Wars and, every now and then, still likes to play with the idea of an — even proxy — third one. I won’t pray for a world that had to let 13 people go in Columbine (1999) and still doesn’t seem to raise an eyebrow in 2015. I won’t pray for a world that has allowed proxy wars to be played in the Middle East for decades — probably for its own enjoyment — and now wonders why it backfires.
I won’t pray for a world that allows destruction to descend upon itself today just as it has allowed it for as long as History goes. I won’t pray for a world that has essentially done this to itself. I won’t pray for a world that has birthed extremism.
That world is shitty, rotten and despicable and does not deserve any prayer. I won’t pray.
I won’t pray but I will fight. I will fight for our understanding of Liberty, which has taken centuries to establish and claimed so many lives on the way. I will fight for our Freedom, which any single attack of this kind jeopardises ever more. I will fight to uphold our Institutions. I will fight for our Value-System, which forms the basis of our « living together ». I will fight.
I won’t pray but I will stand. I will stand for Openness in the face of Insularity. I will stand for Mutual Understanding, notwithstanding temptations to break up (already thin) intercultural relations. I will stand against political and religious Obscurantism. I will stand against Fear, fear of others and fear for our lives.
I won’t pray but I shall resist. Primarily, I shall resist against that part of myself tempted to cede to Insularity, Obscurantism and Fear, that part of myself tired to build Mutual Understanding and cross-cultural ties. And I shall resist those ceding to these temptations and try to drag others with them, for they are the very roots of our ills. I shall resist.
These attacks are aiming at the roots of our civilisations, at the core of what we stand for. Let’s use our civilizational founding principles and the core of our value-system as a guidance for our answer.
(I don’t know where your fight starts. Mine starts here.)