As memorials and marches continue over Europe after the horrific and senseless murders in France this week, the on line and poster making folk are making the "je suis charlie" message heard loud and clear to all.
A simple and poignant message that at it's core means that we support the magazine almost all of us had barely heard of before, but we support their rights to be satirical, to take the piss out of politics and religion - to be funny and thought provoking. The key message is not whether anyone agrees with that the cartoons were funny, or offensive, badly judged or biting satire. The point is that the publishers are allowed to publish. No laws were being broken, no threats were being made, it was a magazine with a very small circulation and very few people had in real terms seen any of their cartoons.
Now we have almost all seen many of them, and yes some are very funny, and overall most are nothing to do with Islam. Their targets were anyone, any religion, any country, any politician, but sadly there seems to be far too many people now incapable of understanding this and taking extreme views, leading to multiple murders and perversely leading to more people seeing the cartoons and laughing at them than would ever have happened otherwise. Like any rational person I struggle to understand what though process anyone goes through to kill people believing that is what their god wishes to happen.
I am not going to focus on the events though, just the issue of freedom of speech that this has dragged up and the implied agreement of people using the je suis Charlie phrase.
It does seem that a worryingly large number of people and organisations struggle to understand what freedom of speech is. In simple terms, like the cartoons, you don't have to like or support what the person is saying, but you have to allow them to say it.
So freedom of speech means racists are allowed to write racist stuff, look (or rather don't) at some of the White Power areas of the internet and you will feel physically sick, the same as what I assume the ISIS areas and websites are like. And here is the nub, there are people tweeting #JeSuisCharlie and even having their avatars as those words while saying websites should be taken down, signing petitions to have people sacked for making jokes or being idiots, reporting people to the police for all manner of non-crimes.
What thought process is that that says "I am in favour of free speech apart from Katie Hopkins or Ched Evans website"? I am not a fan of either of those entities, but they are allowed to speak and show themselves for what they are.
Remember the last election when the BNP were growing in popularity, until Nick Griffin was given what we wanted and invited on Question Time. Many people campaigned and protested about it, but he was shown to be the idiot that he was and was consigned to history. Not letting him speak was actually his key point as it meant he had power, letting him speak ended him.
Don't ban words, argue them to prove them wrong.