The first I heard of the Charlie Hebdo atrocity was early this morning in my Salzburg hotel room. Travelling back today, it's clear that Europe is still on high alert. Amongst the French front-pages was the simple statement 'La Guerre' - War. Catching up now on the global reaction makes it clear that it IS war - a war between free thought and free speech and the primitive, savage bigotry of Islamists who would stifle all debate and resist all dialogue. The mass of cartoons featuring pens, pencils and brushes that are now everywhere make clear that our response, the enlightened West's response, is not to cry for blood but for ink. And this is absolutely right.
If there's one thing our own history has taught us - and by God we were slow learners - it is that you cannot extinguish the light of truth with blood and darkness. And whilst I am proud of the great mass of peoples across the globe now affirming a human right to speak and be heard, I am also shamed by the residual scum amongst us who even now would defend the Islamists in their slaughter.
If the lives of those who died yesterday at Charlie Hebdo are worth defending, then so also is the right to depict, ridicule, belittle, satirise and cartoon the 'prophet' Mohammed. Satire, and cartoons, even savage ones, are a sign of our societal health. Yes, they can hurt, but Islamists need to get used to it, and get over it. It isn't going to stop.