Charlie Hebdo France Has Been Hurt Because Of A Cartoon

Charlie Hebdo France Has Been Hurt Because Of A Cartoon

France Has Been Hurt Because Of A Cartoon

France and the rest of Europe, really, as well as the rest of the world have felt the hurt.

Many countries in Europe, and all over the world, such as Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg,  Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Russia, Hong Kong, Chili, the United States and some francophone African countries, all are supporting France with memorial gatherings for the ones who have lost their lives, and in protestation for the preservation of freedom of press.

on Thursday evening, the American President arrived at French Embassy and wrote a long message of support on the book of condolences for the victims.

A Country that Values Freedom of Press

It is a sad thing when in a country where the liberty of expression is not only allowed, but a way of life, is cut short by the bullets of terrorists.

Today I was going to write about a totally different topic, but what happened in Paris on Wednesday morning, at the headquarter of a very popular newspaper called Charlie Hebdo, touched me deeply.


Because I have a very vivid memory of this satirical magazine, which I’ve learned doing my researched, exists since since 1970 under its current name.

Charlie Hebdo is popular weekly paper for his provocative and controversial cartoon covers depicting the news of the day.

The paper comes out ever Wednesday, thus the name Charlie “Hebdo” short for hebdomadaire, meaning weekly, in French.

Back in 2011 the offices of the newspaper had been partly destroyed by a Molotov Cocktail because they had portrayed satirical cartoons of the prophet Mohammad.

Since then, there were several satirical cartooning issues of Charlie Hebdo portraying the Islamic religion, but it wasn’t the only one.

Charlie Hebdo portrayed every one and any one. Any religion, political party, and anything in between.

That’s what they do.  They turn everything under the sun in derision.

That’s called freedom of press.

It’s just that no one wouldn’t ever have thought that a bunch of journalists would be killed for the sake of some cartoons printed on a piece of paper.

However, they probably underestimated the potential of a terrorist attack.

What Happened on Wednesday?

Late Wednesday morning, at around 11:30 local time, on January 7, two men dressed in black with their face covered and heavily armed, entered the Headquarters of French News Magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people, wounding 11 including 4 seriously.

The victims were 5 of the most popular satirical cartoonists in the country, two policemen, an editor, a journalist, a guest, a security guard and a maintenance employee. Only one of the victims was a woman.

When I heard this terrible news, on live French TV online, I immediately recognized two names and faces. They had been with the newspaper since its birth in 1970.

I grew up knowing those cartoonists, and it really touched me to think how they died.

So, the writer in me had to write about this.

Survivors of the attack have said that the two masked killers asked for some specific people by name before killing them, and that it wasn’t random shooting.

Freedom of speech is one of the fundamental principles of France, just like it is in the US, and we can only be thankful to live in a country that values liberty of expression.

When you live in such country, I guess that you tend to forget that not everyone understands your sense of humor, especially the satirical sort, and it costed those journalists their lives this Wednesday.

In France and many other countries in Europe and around the world displayed signs saying “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), in support of the ones who lost their lives, for the liberty of expressions, and freedom of press.

France Got Hurt Because of a Cartoon

Here is an extract of the American newspaper The New Yorker:

The cartoonists died for an idea. The killers are soldiers in a war against freedom of thought and speech, against tolerance, pluralism, and the right to offend—against everything decent in a democratic society. So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day.

In France, it will need to include a renewed debate about how the republic can prevent more of its young Muslim citizens from giving up their minds to a murderous ideology—how more of them might come to consider Mustapha Ourrad, a Charlie Hebdo copy editor of Algerian descent who was among the victims, a hero.

Charlie Hebdo Staff said after the attack on Thursday:

They want to silence us, but they’ve got only one minute.

Many information and news bureaus have offered help, material and otherwise, to the staff of Charlie Hedbo which is planning to publish its next issue next Wednesday, as usual.

Except that they will be printing a million copies instead of the usual 60,000.

I guess freedom of speech is not dead.

And that’s the message they want to send.

For the time being, the national newspaper Liberation will offer space in their own Headquarters to the staff of Charlie Hebdo, so they can and will continue to exercise their freedom of speech and press.

France started 3 day memorial on Thursday morning, with a minute of silence at noon local time, in all major cities of the country.  On Thursday evening as the bells of the Church Notre Dame rung as a tribute to the victims, the Eiffel tower lights went out.

Bloggers also Exercise Freedom of Speech

As bloggers, we also use and value our freedom of speech everyday. Don’t we?

If that went away, so would be our very blogs and written pieces.

That’s why I wanted to write this article in memory of some talented journalists who used their freedom of speech to express themselves using their satirical voices, and that I’ve known my whole life.

We should only be thankful to have the right to write what we want to express.

Please, leave your thoughts and comments below.


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27 thoughts on “Charlie Hebdo France Has Been Hurt Because Of A Cartoon”

  1. This is hot news worldwide Sylviane and we see that Muslim terrorists are making things difficult for everyone else. Muslim officials in my country have come out publicly denouncing terrorist acts in the name of whatsoever yet, the perpetrators claim to be fighting a good fight for “Allah”

    BTW, I think this will continue till the second coming of Jesus 😉
    Enstine Muki invites you to read..Break Through STUCK, Unleash Greatness with Deborah Tutnauer!My Profile

    1. Hi Enstine,

      Indeed, killing is not the answer to anything, it is and always will be a sin to take people’s lives.

      Yes, I know what you mean, such violence has been predicted, indeed.

      Thank you for coming by and adding your input.

  2. Hello Sylviane,

    I am sad on this horrible incident..

    I come from such a country (Pakistan) where extremism is on its high and tolerance is on its very low levels, thus, there are still the people who are very much not inclined towards extremist-ing ideology and matter of fact are very dishearten on this horrible incident took place in Paris, France against the Charlie Hebdo.

    Killing anyone is not the answer/resolution to anything I must say!

    Je Suis Charlie! NO to terrorists and extremists!

    Adeel Sami invites you to read..First Birthday of my SonMy Profile

  3. These things leave me speechless, but I find my voice and I continue to write because that is a freedom, to be able to express oneself, that must not be taken for granted. Thank you for the information in this post. Canada had an attack three months ago, in Ottawa, and now, sadly, it is France making the news. I am sorry for what has happened in your country. Yes, killing is never ever the answer. I wish we could resolve our issues without violence. I feel helpless in ways to ever achieve this. Take care and looking forward to your next post.Good morning Sylviane.

    1. Hi Kerry,

      How nice to see you here this morning supporting this very special post of mine.

      As many life coaches say, we are all one, and as long as we have a normal functioning brain, we can’t help but be deeply touched with things like that happening.

      As bloggers we can only be thankful to have such liberty of expression.

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful day.

  4. Hi Sylviane,

    Wonderful post. 🙂

    As you said, bloggers are the champions of free speech, only after the journalists. These cartoonists too were the epitome of truth and the spirit of justice. They ridiculed, but for a purpose, and for the call of a deeper understanding, or to reveal the veil of ignorance from one’s insight and foresight.

    Just like the flood of cartoons that emerged after this sad incident depict, truth and liberty cannot be killed or held at ransom. Whatever is the bone of contention, violence, war, or killing is never going to resolve issues. It’s amazing to see the courage of the Charlie Hebdo staff when they say that this incident was only able to silence them for a minute, and now they are going to speaker louder and more.

    But on the flip side, the extremists and terrorists too use the same reasoning and react in the same way though using the wrong approach. Nothing is going to resolve problems if we don’t talk and understand each other. Killing leads to more killing, hatred abets hatred, so what’s the end conclusion?

    I condemn the attack, salute the journalists, and pray that the people gone onto the wrong path come to their senses and realize their wrongdoings. The real freedom is when your mind is free of all dogmas, negativity, and irrationality. Let’s all be free, be Charlie.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend, and Happy New Year as well 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      Thank you so much for your very wise words and so true as well. You are so right, they ridiculed for a purpose. Well said, my friend 🙂

      Indeed, violence brings more violence and misery on everyone, the guilty and the innocents.

      It’s sad to think of how small our earth is in this gigantic Universe – we are but a speck – yet, some people feel that they have to live their life hating and killing others.

      Again thank you so much for your wonderful input and I hope I’ll be able to leave a comment on your blog 🙂 later today.

  5. Hi Sylviane,

    They are working tirelessly to inspire fear and eliminate opposition
    to their mind and soul grabbing version of a religion.

    If I remember history correctly, the crusades turned into a cleansing of this
    type of people by non selective slaughter. Especially in areas where they had imposed their religion by the sword.
    Muslims (I think) as a whole are very tolerant to
    using their religion as a excuse to kill, other wise they would change what
    they teach as their means of “evangelism”.

    1. Hi Cararta,

      I think that’s a shame to use any religion to hate and kill others. Last time I checked that wasn’t the purpose of religion.

      the sad thing is that Muslims that are against such violence are suffering too, so those guys are bringing misery on everyone.

      Thank you so much for your input, and have a Happy New Year!

  6. Freedom of speech is a crucial right for businesses. You don’t see any real private businesses in countries without freedom of speech. See Cuba, North Korea as examples.

    I would like to talk about this issue with you on my podcast show, EGO NetCast.

    I have been blogging since 2002. I published the Danish Muhammed cartoon in 2006 on my EGO blog.

    Best Premises,

    Martin Lindeskog
    Martin Lindeskog invites you to read..The Interview with Team America in 2015?My Profile

    1. Hi Martin,

      You’ve got that right. The countries that you mentioned as well as others such as China for example, where many sites, social media and other forms of expression are either forbidden or limited.

      Lack of liberty of expression is the death of business.

      I would love to speak with you on this subject on your podcast. Just tell me when and I’m in 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming.

    1. Thank you Richard, I appreciate that, because this was a post from the heart 🙂

      I knew some of those guys since I’ve been a child. Really touched my soul.

      It was beautiful to watch how the whole Europe raised like a one man.

  7. Hi Sylviane,
    It has truly been a sad week for us all. I am so truly amazed how so many people here and France have banned together so quickly.

    Which is one of the reasons I felt compelled to write about this topic too on my own blog. There is a lot of anti Muslim fear going around. I also feel so badly for some of the Muslim community who are getting harrassed or shunned. It is a tough times now.
    Annie Andre invites you to read..What Is “Je Suis Charlie” And Why Did Terrorist attack In France?My Profile

    1. Hi Annie,

      Great to see you here, and I loved your post. As I told you on your blog I will link it to my upcoming post tomorrow, as I have so much more to say about all that.

      As a French woman, the whole thing touched me deeply and I grew up knowing Wolinski and Cabu. So sad even thinking how they died.

      So, all that also inspired me and I’ve just sent you an email about an idea I’ve just got. I hope you’ll say yes 🙂

      Take care and be safe.

  8. first we changed our mind set, cartoon was not a problem in France indecent, we are living in the world, so we have many customs and traditions so we respect all, this was not a news, because this is a caution, so every country take necessary steps from anti social elements.

  9. Hi Sylviane,
    I just stumbled upon this piece now. The incident in France was so touchy and annoying! How can anyone suppress the truth? Those covering trying to put off freedom of speech can only but try. I condole with the people of France and for all that stand for Liberty.

    I never know about “Charlie Hebdo” before that ugly incidence but now I now the cartoon is more popular than before. Bloggers can learn from this even as we use and value our freedom of speech and expression on daily basis!

    I have shared this comment in where I stumbled upon this post!

    1. Hi Sunday,

      This incident happened at home, so I was very touched by it and had to write about it as well.

      I am 100% on the side of freedom of speech. As long as we do not harm anyone we should be able to express our opinion. As you said, us bloggers use our freedom of speech all the time, and we know how precious it is, don’t we?

      Thanks for coming by, and have a great weekend.

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