BENGALURU: The expat French community in the city has condemned the Charlie Hebdo attack and subsequent hostage situation at Porte de Vincennes on Friday.
Mikael de la Fuente, director of Alliance Francaise de Bangalore (AFB) said, “We are shocked by what has happened in Paris. We have not seen something like this happen before. It just goes to show that we are becoming less tolerant by the day.”
His colleague, Camille Caritte, the course director at AFB, added, “When I first got a text message from my friend in France, I couldn’t come to terms with it. It is upsetting because it goes against everything that France stands for.”
They felt that although the provocative cartoons were in the French satirical magazine, it was not a reason to kill people.
“In France, you are given the freedom to say what you want. You have the liberty of expressing your thoughts. So we are not able to comprehend this ghastly behaviour,” said Mikael, who arrived in Bengaluru four months ago.
Camille said her friends back in France are trying to cope with the situation unitedly.
“Some of my friends are very angry. But most of them are trying to get together to send out a strong message of unity and tolerance,” she said.
Jean Philippe, who is a managing director of a private company, concurred. “Now is the time to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo,” he said.
“If we get cowed down, we are saying that the people involved in the attacks were right to do it. They only want to scare us. We have to be vocal against it,” he added.