Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 68 - Let’s talk about Culture and......The day when they killed caricature

The day when they killed caricature caused a wave of shock that went all around the world. It caused a deep cry of protest, despair and fear…and solidarity. It shook the walls of all our cultures. Where are we heading?

We cannot sit back in our comfortable chairs and shake our heads in wonder. I have been reading comments by writers, journalists, philosophers and politicians flooding in hourly and now that the first shock is over and the terrorists have been delivered to where their victims are,  the comments and articles are becoming more and more thoughtful realising that hate and revenge will bring us into a very dangerous situation. Comments like …. ‘It has nothing to do with Islam’…. ‘All religions are dangerous’ ….they even recite Dalai Lama saying…. ‘Sometimes I wonder if religions are not redundant’ ….….’i am charlie, and i am ahmed, and west, and east, and christian, and muslim and much more. and everything the human race contains, whether good or bad, i contain multitudes within myself, for i am made of the same cloth... etc.  maybe the way out is not to reject and externalize, but to own and internalize....’.


The terror waves have reached our coasts and have shaken many people awake, they are getting close and closer and that the waves have hit Paris, one of the high culture cities with democracy and freedom of mind firmly established. Something is definitely going wrong in our world for more than a decade now. Who will be next?

The question is: Whom do these terrorists want to attack?  Their aim is to drive a wedge between communities of different religions and that is in the end more dangerous, they want to sow the seeds of mistrust and hate.

So far, for us in Europe things have been still far away and only when the flood crosses the threshold of our house that we start to think and look for the reason behind it all.

For many decades now our European countries are home for many different cultures and nationalities, the reasons being on the one side the consequences of a colonial past or having invited workers and specialists from neighbour countries in times of need and economic delevopment, as in the case of Germany. The migrant workers were highly welcome and they built their nests, had children born there and more or less melted into our lives. We learnt from them and profited from their traditions, we went to see their countries in return and started trade and activities. 

Now, after Paris,  it would be the worst to withdraw with mistrust and put the believers of other religions into one and the same pot. We must not forget that these terrorists are outsiders who aim to destroy trust and also their own religious structure; we must not forget that in our Christian communities we also have criminals that disturb democracy because they are sick in their minds, so we must regard the islamic terrorists the same way. They come from surroundings where they have nothing to lose anyway, they are desperados and the act of revolting and killing can easily become an easy habit. Their nourishment is hate and contempt for all democratic values, their purpose is destruction.

On the other hand the development plays well into the hands of right wing groups who feel strengthened to pursue  and deliver their nationalistic paroles. We just cannot expect people to come into our country when we need them and then send them back home after decades, they are now our citizens, our neighbours, our friends. They are taking part in our lives, politics, culture and share duties, pay taxes and keep the social network going.

In these times of peril, I would compare it with the Plague, the Black Death, we must stand together and show with our strong  will and belief and ...avec la main dans la main, hand in hand – build a strong defensive wall against these destructive powers. Never let a wedge come between us, that would be a deathly trap.

It is not only the politicians that have to shoulder their responsibilities to find the right solutions, it is also our duty to stand this through together to preserve the peace for our future world, for our children.

We all need a vision and we need politicians with a vision, and we must concentrate on the true values of our existence. In order to recognise the true values we need the executives to make political developments and decisions clear and transparent. Many citizens worldwide are misled by rumours, false interpretation, advertisement and.... silence. 

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