Birmingham Press Club members and representatives of Midlands media, including Birmingham Mail editor-in-chief Marc Reeves and Birmingham Post editor Stacey Barnfield, were amongst hundreds of people who tonight (January 8) took part in a silent vigil for victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The event was organised by Zoe Pelletier, a French student of criminology at Birmingham City University
Here, Birmingham Mail Communities Editor Paul Fulford gives his view on an outrage that has shocked the world.
Press Club members join in the Victoria Square vigilHelena Randall and Phil Brown show their support
"Tonight’s vigil in Victoria Square, Birmingham, is about respect, not hatred.
It is about respecting and honouring the victims of the terrible, cowardly shooting in Paris and respecting everything that those who died stood for – freedom, democracy, decency and tolerance.
Those are the foundations on which the civilised West was built – and the values that the bloodthirsty fanatics of Islam’s wild fringe despise for they threaten their backward, domineering world-view.
The world was shocked and outraged by yesterday’s cold-blooded, cruel massacre and the vast majority of Muslims were as outraged by the Charles Hebdo massacre as those not of their faith.
So do not fall into the trap of despising Islam because of the savagery of a minority who claim to represent the religion.
To do so would be to create the division that extremists seek between communities to further their perverted aims.
We must be steadfast in protecting our liberties by hunting down and punishing the monsters who threaten them, but equally steadfast in recognising they are unrepresentative of their religion.
Meanwhile, we send out deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those who perished in Paris.