France meets the Third Jihad
|"With my new iPhone 5 with the 4-inch screen, you can clearly see that they've insulted the prophet!" -- thanks to the Elder of Ziyon|
Four of France's most revered cartoonists - Stephane Charbonnier, Georges Wolinski, Bernard 'Tignous' Verlhac and Jean Cabut - were among 12 people executed by masked gunmen in Paris today at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Two masked men brandishing Kalashnikovs burst into the magazine's headquarters this morning, opening fire on staff, also shooting dead revered economist and contributor Bernard Maris, 68.
Police officers were involved in a gunfight with the 'calm and highly disciplined men', who escaped in a hijacked car, speeding away towards east Paris. They remain on the loose, along with a third armed man.
Three other victims are reported to be guest editor Michel Renaud, 73-year-old cartoonist Philippe Honoré - known as Honore - and the magazine's proofreader Mustapha Ourad.
Two police officers, Ahmed Merabet and Franck Brinsolaro, are also reportedly among the 12 people that have been killed, according to French media.
Tributes have been pouring in to 'heroic' men who refused to be intimidated and who saw their work as vital tools of political expression, with one Twitter user stating 'you wanted to kill Charlie Hebdo, you just made it immortal'.
Charbonnier, 47, known by his pen name Charb, was the editor of the weekly magazine, and once famously said 'I'd prefer to die than live like a rat'. He also declared, in the face of animosity from extremists, 'I live under French law, not Koranic law'.
Gifted satirist Cabut, 76, also called Cabu, was Charlie Hebdo's lead cartoonist, Wolinski an 80-year-old who had been drawing cartoons since the 1960s and Tignous a much-admired 57-year-old contributor to the publication.
As the world expressed its horror at the massacre, Charlie Hebdo's editor-in-chief Gerard Biard said 'a newspaper is not a weapon of war.'
I'll bet anyone in this room 100 quid that the attackers were Islamists. And I'll win.
The French of that ancient time defended their rights through force- as rights must be defended. Otherwise, they're not "rights" at all- they're merely lines in the sand that anyone can cross anytime he chooses. A right has to be earned, always at great expense, for a right is precious beyond measure, and its cost is commensurate with its value.
|"Lost in Translation", much?|
French politicians rushed to offer their commiserations in the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, but they have been battling fears about terrorism for years.
The success of Marine Le Pen, the far-Right Front National leader, has been the most visible sign of the rising tide of Islamophobia in France, which increased again in the wake of several attacks in December.
Miss Le Pen said that she was "horrified" by the attack on the satirical magazine, saying she felt "huge sadness for the victims and sent her condolences to the families of the victims."
In December, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls had to call for calm after a series of attacks – where cars were used as battering rams on festive crowds – at Christmas.
Mr Valls called for “cool-headedness”, while the President Francois Hollande urged the nation not to panic.
The attacks were seen as a symptom of serious problems in French society, which has a large immigrant population from former French colonies including Algeria.
For decades, France has had problems with the “banlieues”, the suburbs where poor immigrants live in large numbers. With residents having little hope of escaping the impoverished areas, the banlieues have become fertile recruitment grounds for extremists.
The attacks last month marked a new challenge for the French security services. Soldiers were deployed after three separate attacks in three cities across France. In one attack in Nantes, a van driver crashed into a Christmas market, injuring ten people. In Dijon, 13 people were injured after a driver shouting “Allahu akbar” (or “God is great”) drove into pedestrians at five different locations in the city.
Evil is powerless when the good are unafraid
-- Ronald Wilson Reagan