Monday I was so proud of the 10K+ citizens here in Münster, Germany who came together to preempt any demonstration by the latently racist MÜNGIDA movement - a local franchise of the PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) movement out of Dresden Germany - A group of people who fear and mistrust immigrants and people seeking refuge from war and persecution in their own countries, which has been gathering a good deal of support in some German states and cities.
Although it was bitterly cold, people of all creeds and colours gathered to make the statement that this kind of bigoted, narrow minded attitude is unrepresentative of the citizens of my adopted city.
I am an immigrant, and though I am not colored or visibly "Other" in any way, I have been viewing the growing support for extreme right-wing views in Germany and Europe with a good deal of alarm. Monday meant a lot to me, I can't imagine what it must mean to those who have to suffer everyday persecution.
And then this!
Islamist extremists kill 12 people in Paris, and for what? Satirical cartoons?!
It's so depressing that I could weep. It doesn't really matter which side it was or what grievance they think they had. People are dead, families bereaved and the fires of hate stoked higher. The bigots of PEGIDA and their ilk gain more ground and the extreme Islamist elements too.
Don't get drawn in to the cycle of hate, don't let this act be instrumentalised by either side.
Keep calm and be excellent to each other. N8 <3