This morning, the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were attacked by unidentified terrorists (via BBC News). 12 were killed including the magazine’s editor and two cops and four others suffered critical injuries. Charlie Hebdo had been firebombed before after publishing a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad as well as receiving a number of death threats.
The gunmen are still on the loose as of this post.
Satire and comedy, it would seem are under attack as of late. The cyber attack on Sony Pictures for The Interview and this killing spree at Charlie Hedbo must have been manifested from outrage in the most pathetic fashion. Both have attacked icons that have certain, extremist followers that abhor the idea that their icons would ever be questioned whatsoever.
“If it turns out that members of Al Qaeda or some other radical “Islamic” sect carried out this attack, the saddest, most profoundly ironic thing about it will have been that the satire worked. It did its job. It so threatened its target, cut so deeply at the truth, that it resorted to the most cowardly, most offensive and despicable form of lashing out.”
“You cannot kill an idea by murdering innocent people – though you can nudge it toward suicide.That is the real threat: that we’ll allow our fear, or our anger, to kill ourselves."
At this moment, big crowds are standing in solidarity throughout France, holding up signs like the one above that say “Je Suis Charlie”, which translates in English to “I Am Charlie”.
While sharing the image of Je Suis Charlie is certainly one way of sharing your support, we urge you to exercise your freedom of speech and not let those that are scared of what your words might do, especially when it comes to comedy, instill terror in us all.