Je suis ce que je suis, mais je ne suis pas que ce je suis. My dad used to enjoy this Gallic play on words. Je suis means “I follow” as well as “I am” in French, so the apparently nonsensical sentence is actually quite profound – “I am what I am but I am not what I follow.”
After last week’s murders in France, that has extra resonance. The men who shot 17 people last week were completely immersed in their world and spring-loaded to take offence on behalf of the God and religion they followed. Mockery was enough to justify deadly rage.