Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité will not be destroyed by attack

Diane Dodds
Diane Dodds

My deepest sympathies go to the French nation as whole but particularly those who have lost loved ones or colleagues in the heinous attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Sadly we in Northern Ireland are a people too familiar with the loss and pain brought about by terrorism and today we stand in solidarity with those in Paris.

The terrorists attacked with assault rifles those who dared to use the pen.

An attack on freedom of speech and freedom of the press is ultimately an attack on all who value democracy and liberty, regardless of nationality, colour or creed.

The importance of maintaining these core principles was foremost in my mind as I joined with colleagues from across Europe in Brussels yesterday: united in respect for those who lost their lives; condemnation of the attacks and support for the French people.

This attack was not the will of God nor reflective of the tenets any faith.

Yesterday French Muslims joined their countrymen and women in condemnation.

They have demonstrated that such evil is neither in their name nor justified by the faith by which they live, standing in defiance of the poisoned minds that carried out this evil deed.

The people of nations struck by terrorism have always risen up in defiance of the terrorists, showing they would not bow to murderous extremism.

They were not afraid.

That message remains the same, we are not afraid, and there will be no surrender or retreat in the battle against terrorism at home or abroad.

The Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité the French people hold so dear will not be destroyed but rather strengthened by this tragedy.

Diane Dodds is a DUP MEP