Charlie Hebdo: After the Fact


Hannah Feakes, Editor

A French satirical weekly newspaper, featuring cartoons, reports, debates, and jokes has been the target of a recent terrorist attack, presumed to be in response to a number of controversial Muhammad cartoons it published. In the latter of the attacks, twelve people were killed, including the editor, Charb, and several contributors.

Charlie Hebdo first appeared in 1970 as a successor to the Hara-Kiri magazine, which was banned for mocking the death of former French President Charles de Gaulle. The magazine’s current editor is Gerard Biard who took over the role when Charbonnier (former editor since 2009), was killed. The magazine is published every Wednesday, with special editions issued on an unscheduled basis.

According to Fox News, French authorities believe Islamic brothers, Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi (pronounced dead), are the prime suspects in a deadly terror attack the morning of Wednesday, January 7th at Charlie Hebdo’s Paris headquarters. The assailants  allegedly forced their way into the magazine’s main offices, killing 12, including the magazine’s editor, before fleeing in a getaway car in broad daylight.

Now, just five days later, 17 people have been killed by three terror suspects, three suspects have been murdered (Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly) with one remaining on the loose (Hayat Boumeddiene), and the French people are joining together in retaliation.

Once the smoke cleared, the citizens of Paris joined together in the form of riots and rebellions. “Clearly something is broken in France,” said Hervé Laurent, a 52-year-old business man (Wall Street Journal).

According to CNN, more than 3.7 million people marched throughout France in “colossal anti-terrorism rallies Sunday”. French officials say the outpouring was the largest gathering in the country’s history. The rally began with a march through Paris streets and continued through the night. Among the crowd was Dalil Boubakeur, “the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith” (CNN).

Allegedly, one man in the crowd said the French people must not “give in to fear.” “Terrorists”, he said, “will not win.”

Retaliation comes with compromise and in this case, the threats are not ceasing. Threats against French citizens, particularly journalists, continued through Sunday, January 11th. For example, The offices of Belgian newspaper Le Soir were evacuated Sunday after employees received an anonymous phone call of a bomb threat (CNN).

The bodies of the four Jewish victims in the deadly standoff at the kosher market will be taken to Israel for burial. Now, foreign leaders and people worldwide are showing their support and contributing to the “Charlie Hebdo effort”.