The terrorist attack in Paris was brought on because the targeted company publishes “Charlie Hebdo,” a satirical French-language newspaper that has published cartoons mocking, or at least depicting, Islam’s inventor Mohammad. The goal was not only to punish Charlie Hebdo, but also to discourage future mockery of Mo. It was, in short, a direct attack on free expression.
There are two responses that should be spooled up and enacted just as soon as possible:
1) Find the perpetrators and kill them. Or capture, charge, try and imprison them, if you must.
2) Promptly show that efforts at squashing free expression will not only fail, but backfire.
Most people obviously cannot do much about #1, but #2? That’s a game anyone can play. Unfortunately, it’s a game a lot of journalistic cowards are too *afraid* to play:
As one publisher says in the piece, “what right do I have to risk the lives of my staff to make a point?”
That’s right. You have no right to risk the lives of your staff. So stop sending them to war zones, disaster scenes, high crime areas.
The article includes a distressing number of photos included in major media outlets that show the Charlie Hebdo magazine, but censor out the “offending” cartoons. Feh.
So, these are the ones that got censored. I don’t speak a word of French beyond “merde,” so I have no idea if these are in any way NSFW. So I’ve put a little break here juuuuust in case you’re feeling squishy about opening them up at work or some such.
It should be noted that Charlie Hebdo seems to have been a generally anti-religion publication. Do a Google image search, and you’ll see a *lot* of cartoons, many quite vulgar, that depict old-school anti-Semitic cartoons… and some seriously anti-Catholic cartoons (anti-Catholic. In freakin’ France.) And yet… I don’t see a whole lot of news items about how the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed by Da Joooz or shot up by the Papists.