Bertolt Brecht’s quote, “unhappy is the land that needs a hero”, has never worked. It is just an exhibition of political correctness. And it is even less true since bloodthirsty Islamist terrorism started to attack.
Unfortunately, since yesterday we have twelve new heroes: two police officers and ten journalists. An appalling picture shows us the last moment of life of one of the policemen who tried to stop those criminals who “avenged Muhammad” by killing the whole staff of Charlie Hebdo.
The 42-year-old man, whose name was, ironically, Ahmed, desperately raises his hands in front of his face trying to stop the bullet that will mercilessly murder him. His killers know no other logic than that of extremism, of the Islamic State, of the rightful death of the infidels.
Those are men who are used to behead other human beings. The other heroes we will never forget are the cartoonists who have been killed. Like Salman Rushdie and Theo Van Gogh, they have been followed by a death sentence for years and then taken by surprise in the headquarters of their magazine during an editorial staff meeting, a place that every journalist considers as his own for its familiarity and safety.
“Charb” knew what he was risking, but he did not accept his government’s request to be cautious. Ahmed, too, knew that he was facing well-armed killers, nevertheless he tried to stop them. They showed such a training and cold-heartedness that the idea of a half-mad “lone wolf” could be dismissed forever. All the heroes killed yesterday were fighters in the battle for freedom, against those who “love death more than we love life”.
If we let them keep on acting without a strong reaction, they will keep expanding, shocking and terrorizing, because their goal is not to erase the Syrian-Iraqi border but to conquer the world crushing the infidels.
The symbolism here is strong and clear: who could be more infidel than a journalist who not only draws naked kings, Christians, Jews and Muslims, but also dares to draw Muhammad himself without his trousers on?
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (January 8, 2015)