Charlie…

Today, a terrorist attack struck Charlie Hebdo’s offices, in Paris. Three gunmen shot dead twelve people, 10 journalists and 2 police officers. This satirical newspaper had drawn attention from extremists over the years, notably caricaturing Muhammad, the prophet. Charlie Hebdo is/was fond of on-the-edge jokes, pushing it really far. Too far for some, as it has been said before… But nothing in the world excuses what happened today.
However, no matter how awful and revolting this shooting is, let’s not generalise: this is the work of extremists, not Muslims. Islam, like most other religions, is peaceful. It is used by some violent characters, as religion or ideals are often used. Let’s not make it a war against Islam. Let’s not make it a war at all, but let’s stand strong and proud, and defend our freedom. Freedom to think, to speak, to be…
With this assassination disappear some of the most famous French cartoonists, artists being part of the typically French satirical press. This page is turned, but Charlie will always live within us!
To the victims, their families and friends. To freedom of speech, well defended and represented by the victims. To peace…

Cartoonists,
Humorists
Assassinated
Regretfully and
Lamentably by some
Imbécile
Extremists…

At the moment of writing, the newspaper’s webpage displays this picture and a link to a pdf file repeating the sentence in different languages, including Arabic…

Je suis Charlie
Homage to Charlie Hebdo’s attack

Edit (added 8/1/2015)
Here is the list of the victims:
– Stéphane Charbonnier – “Charb” – editor & cartoonist
– Bernard Maris – economist
– Georges Wolinski – cartoonist
– Jean Cabut – “Cabu” – cartoonist
– Bernard Verlhac – “Tignous” – cartoonist
– Philippe Honoré – cartoonist
– Elsa Cayat – columnist
– Michel Renaud – guest, festival director
– Frederic Boisseau – maintenance worker
– Franck Brinsolaro – police officer
– Moustapha Ourrad – copy editor
– Ahmed Merabet – police officer

This attack touched me. I am not sure why it did more than other similar events (35 victims in a bombing by a police school in Yemen, yesterday), but one of the reasons is because of the symbol it represents.
Targeting a newspaper is different than aiming at a government, or its official representatives (military, police…). However, it is sad that all lives taken by violence seem not to have the same worth…
And Muslim or Arab are not synonyms for terrorist, nor criminal. Too often the way titles and sentences are formulated lead us to think that way. Most of them criticise these violent actions. And, as said by Omid Safi, “And as for the shooters, they have done more to demean people’s impression of the religion of the Prophet than the cartoonists in Charlie Hebdo ever did.”

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