Islamaphobia is gathering strength in the Western world and this polarisation of cultures suits a variety of interests on both sides of the divide. That is not to say that the actions of the (presumed) Islamists who have murdered at least 10 of the Charlie Hebdo staff can be justified in any way -- they cannot -- but had a group whose motive was, for instance, anti-semitic in nature, been attacked in a similarly murderous way, would they have been so stoutly defended? They might be -- and yet one doubts this and a sneaking suspicion persists that politicians and media find that the Charlie Hebdo attack fits the prevailing anti-Islamic narrative -- and it accords happily with the West's aggressive foreign policies in the Muslim world. It should also be said that there is something very unedifying about the expressions of outrage from Western governments over the murder of several journalists when the murder of so many innocent women and children in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan et al has been regarded with such silence.
Yes, it is inexcusable to exact such a terrible revenge upon the Charlie Hebdo staff -- but we should not seek to sanctify the peddlers of religious and cultural hatred either. Moreover, so that we may not be open to accusations of hypocrisy, we should also condemn with equal vigour those amongst us who have wreaked havoc upon so many Muslim nations in recent years.