Merci, Emmanuel Macron

Chan Karunaratne
4 min readOct 27, 2020


The declaration to protect freedom of expression in France goes all the way back to 1789. Two centuries later, the country is in a critical state to protect these values. And one man is at the center of it, leading the fight for a free France in a politically correct world.

Just over a week ago a school teacher was beheaded on the streets of Paris in broad daylight. What did he do wrong? He used the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, from the 2006 Chalie Hebdo incident, to give context for a freedom of expression class in school.

I know what you might be Feeling. You’re enraged, you’re furious and empathetic at the same time. But in the politically correct modern world, things work a little differently.

When Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, acknowledged the incident for what it is and called it an act of Islamic terrorism, it hurt the feelings of Islamic sympathizers around the world.

How dare he use the “i” word?!

We live in a politically correct world where we value “not hurting someone's feelings” over facts and reason.

No matter how reasonable and correct it was to call this act as something that was religiously motivated, the liberal media, as usual, did not see it that way.

What is it about western society and their blind sympathizing with radical Islam? How is it okay to make satirical content about Jesus Christ but not Prophet Mohammed? Who decides where we draw this line?

Why don’t they hesitate to call out a white supremacist attack but shy away from using “Islamic terrorism”?

Oh, and before you mention it, it’s not racist to acknowledge that. You don’t get to be offended when it's a fact and not an opinion.

“A few bad apples”

Ah yes, the age-old argument that not every Muslim is a terrorist. Yes, obviously they’re not. But at the same time, we shouldn’t shy away from acknowledging how many radical-minded people are out there.

Whenever this comes up it always reminds me of the infamous Ben Affleck vs Sam Harris argument where Sam talks about these “few bad apples” in Islamic extremism.

Yes, not every radical theist is willing to grab an AK47 and shoot up a gay night club or blow up an Ariana Grande concert. Not every one of them is going to perform capital punishment on a cartoon artist for drawing something they don’t agree with.

But if you’re not willing to condemn these acts, or if you think those artists need to be prosecuted for what they did, you’re equally as dangerous.

I like to refer to an important point made by Sam in the debate. The number of jihadists who work day in day out to kill infidels is a small number. Next to them, we have the Islamists, who don’t grab weapons or murder people. They work through a democratic system to use it against itself.

Let’s look at some context.

I don’t usually agree with Ben Shapiro but he breaks down some research information on a Youtube video about radical Islam.

50% of Indonesians support strict sharia law. 65% of the population in Egypt and 76% in Pakistan also have the same view.

78% of Muslims in Europe believe the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist needs to be prosecuted for his drawings.

A quarter of Bangladesh population thinks that suicide bombings are sometimes justified

Getting back to our point, these people are not the majority. They make up about 20% of the Muslim community. But when you look at the numbers, it’s hundreds of millions. And their voice is always louder than the rest of Islam.

I brought up these statistics to give some context so that you might think twice before jumping on the “you’re racist if you criticize Islam” bandwagon.

Someone has to address the ugly truth

…And that someone, at the moment, is Emmanuel Macron.

The president said that the 47-year-old victim had been ‘assassinated’ and that his killer sought to ‘attack the republic and its values’.

The French president and his centrist government have begun cracking down on extremist groups in France, in which they discovered weapons and videos of decapitations.

For me, it rang a bell and felt like deja vu. It is very similar to what we found in Sri Lanka about a year ago following the brutal easter Sunday attack on Christian churches in which more than 200 people were killed.

Freedom of speech is one of the most valuable rights we possess. That is if you’re lucky enough to have it.

Not every government is willing to protect this right. I wish we had this form of freedom of expression in our part of the world.

This is a message to the French people. A letter from the third world. Don’t ever take the rights you have for granted.

لا شيئ يجعلنا نتراجع، أبداً. نحترم كل أوجه الاختلاف بروح السلام. لا نقبل أبداً خطاب الحقد وندافع عن النقاش العقلاني. سنقف دوماً إلى جانب كرامة الإنسانوالقيم العالمية.



Chan Karunaratne

Your friendly neighborhood product designer.