There are those who put their religion at the top of their list of priorities ahead of love and respect for their country. There are those who put patriotism ahead of respect for (anyone’s) religion. In the wake of a terrorist atrocity, there is a danger that those who place themselves at the extreme ends of the ideological spectrum will become even more deeply entrenched.
We should do everything in our power to avoid and deter any clash of cultures or civilisations arising from such events. And we should challenge those who pursue such an agenda. In the longer term, we should strive, not for one homogeneous civilisation, for that would be truly wretched, but for a coalescence of civilisations, one that reconciles the freedom of the individual with the welfare of a culturally diverse society.
We will not become truly civilised people at all unless and until we can all put love and respect for fellow human beings well ahead of any patriotism or any ideology.