Below, the office of Charlie Hebdo was firebombed in 2011 for the magazine’s satires of Mohammed, but editor Stephane Charbonnier refused to cower in fear, saying, “I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.” He was killed on Wednesday.
France is afflicted with at least five million Muslims and they are remarkably touchy about any perceived affront to their religion, a belief system which westerners are supposed to respect despite its barbaric norms of headchopping innocents and enslaving women. The Islamic response is to condemn and attack free speech as practiced in the west, and that behavior alone should make Muslims ineligible for immigration.
One remembers the 2004 murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on an Amsterdam street by a Muslim angry about an Islam-critical film, Submission. The axe-wielding attack of a Somali was a close call on cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who managed to escape into his “panic” room until police arrived. In 2013 cartoonist Lars Hedegaard narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when the gunshot whizzed by his head after a jihadist posing as a delivery man came to the door.
In 2010, five Muslims were arrested for plotting a mass murder at the office of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which famously published a series of controversial Mohammed cartoons. So the idea in Muslim brains of attacking the office of a publication is not new, but the attackers’ success in killing a dozen in Paris today is deeply disturbing and shows that preventing jihad murders is not foolproof.
Some of France’s best cartoonists were gunned down by jihadists in the recent attack. Left to right: Jean Cabut (“Cabu”), Stephane Charbonnier (“Charb”), Bernard Verlhac (“Tignous”), Georges Wolinski.
Your French phrase for the day (or year) should be: “Je suis Charlie” — I am Charlie, a phrase growing in popularity across France.
It’s similar to “I am Spartacus.”