All week I have been puzzling over something. Why is it, when I see people saying "We are Charlie" it sets my teeth on edge? And why do I find it annoying when people tweet "We are Jewish shoppers now"?
The attacks carried out in Paris last week were neither random nor mindless. They had been planned with some care. Their immediate purposes were clear enough but how they might fit in with any strategy less so. Charlie Hebdo is back with its irreverent pictures of the prophet, and France has declared solidarity with both the magazine and the murdered Jews.
The coup de grace was near faultless - two special-forces teams working in complete co-ordination stormed the print works where Cherif and Said Kouachi were holed up north of Paris and the Hyper Cacher grocery where Amedy Coulibaly had taken hostages. Within minutes, the three gunmen were dead without further casualties.
Apparently, civilisation is saved! Some 3 million people took to the streets of Paris last Sunday to declare "Je suis Charlie" and that they would fight off the threat to freedom just like the French resistance. "We are not afraid," shouted the crowd.
Oh, but they are. If anyone really thinks the Paris march means Europe is now going to save itself, they are living on a different planet.
Few British Muslims had heard of Charlie Hebdo before last Wednesday.
Of those who had, almost none would be fans of the magazine. Personally, I found some of its cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) moderately amusing ("100 lashes if you don't die of laughter") and others just deplorable bad taste.
"Why is freedom of expression deemed more important than Jewish lives?" asked Melanie Phillips in The Times this week. Her argument was that Western commentators were failing to report the virulent antisemitism at the heart of the Islamist terrorists' campaign of violence.