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    letters | reeling, but now bowling, after attack in Paris

    Those who kill in name of religion take offense to new level

    People stopped in front of the French embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, Thursday, where a tribute was left to the victims of the attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo.
    Antonio Bronic/Reuters
    People stopped in front of the French embassy in Zagreb, Croatia, Thursday, where a tribute was left to the victims of the attack on the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo.

    One person’s poor taste is another’s satire. But satire and ridicule are the only weapons available in the fight to lay low the pretentious and pompous, particularly religious adherents who loudly proclaim a special right not to be offended, and who can’t dismiss satire as simple bad taste.

    Many Muslims have condemned the atrocity in Paris as not reflective of Islam. Yet they also claim that there should be limits to Western-based free expression, as if to subtly condone the violence that struck the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

    At this time I am immensely appreciative of the Globe’s resident editorial cartoonist, Dan Wasserman, whose life’s work is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

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    In the long run, the cartoonist’s pen may still be mightier than the sword. But, as John Maynard Keynes said, ”In the long run we are all dead.” That day will come all too quickly unless nonviolent religious people who nevertheless claim the right not to be offended take on the responsibility not to sympathize with aggrieved religious feelings of those who kill in the name of their religion.

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    Je suis Charlie. We are not afraid.

    Bryan L. Tucker

    Jamaica Plain