The Charlie Hebdo Attack on All of Us


I don’t agree with the caricaturs Charlie Hebdo published and I don’t see the reason for publishing them in the first place. I wouldn’t sign up for the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag because I don’t support this kind of journalism, a journalism that’s provocative only for the sake of being provocative. But I am as shocked with the killings as everyone else.

I don’t know where the attack comes from and I don’t know if we ever will find out. And who was it? Confused young Muslim immigrant men, treated as second class citizens by the Front National influenced France of today, or angry young converts who recently came back from Syria? Did Saudi Arabia fund the terror attack just like we accuse them of funding everything else? Was it ISIS? Or was it loners scraping together for ages to be able and carry out their own little sick plan?

I’m not sure it really matters who was behind this brutal killing. The attack in itself is a sign that we’re on a very bad track internationally, all of us, and that we’re going downhill. KIlling of civilians is becoming so normal our children might think it’s a rational thing to do when you have convinced yourself that you hate someone.

I wish I wouldn’t have to say this, I’m myself irritated at times with all the doomsayers online who critizice politics and the society without wanting to see the good things in it. But 2014 ended with the Peshawar massacre and 2015 starts with 12 journalists killed because of the newspaper they worked for. These attacks sends us back ages in to a dark place where I don’t want to be. Twitter fills up with racist statements and the rightwinged extremist parties are looking forward to an upswing in the next elections. Front National must be shitting their pants with excitement. Us ordinary civilians will lock ourselves in and starting to avoid our neighbours. This attack isn’t just on Charlie Hebdo, it’s an attack on all of us, all over the world.

As Iyad El-Baghdadi, UAE activist, concluded on Twitter:

The extremists will benefit from an escalation, it justifies them. People who just want to coexist are thrown under the bus.

Photo copyrights: Sweden and the Middle East Views

12 thoughts on “The Charlie Hebdo Attack on All of Us

  1. Old pappy and I also agree completely with your sentiments regarding the attack, as well as, irresponsible “journalism.” You are also correct in feeling that we are all going downhill. Your quote from Iyad El Baghdadi is so true – those of us who “just want to coexist” must as the old expression goes, “hang together or we’ll all hang separately.” I hope you will see my blog which will post today or tomorrow. Buster and pap.


  2. We’ll need more nuanced reactions to the Charlie Hebdo killings such as yours. There is no reason to print offensive cartoons that exist for no reason other than to poke people in the eye; I also would never publish them. But the sickening attack on the French satirists will only induce more people to publish the same material, escalating hatred further.

    Still, I can’t help but feel agreement with Salmon Rushdie’s statement today that “Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.” I also note the outpouring of condemnations of the killings by Muslims, but for the reason that the “need” of them to do so in the name of their religion speaks for itself. When Timothy McVeigh killed in Oklahoma City, neither Christians nor Irish felt the need to condemn McVeigh’s act of terrorism on the basis of their religion or ethnicity. Nor should they have.

    The Charlie Hebdo killings are an act of pure terrorism, just as Timothy McVeigh’s was. We can condemn these on the basis of our shared humanity. To give in to terrorist acts is something we can not do — the point Rushdie was making as I understand it — but we can still write and draw satire without poking people in the eye simply for the sake of poking people in the eye. That ought to be part of our shared humanity as well.


  3. No matter what this cartoonist drew with his pen, he did not deserve to die in the name of religion. Freedom of speech and expression does not mean we get to agree or disagree, just as you can voice your disapproval of what Charlie Hebdo published, he has a right to publish it, without dying.

    One must understand the real issue here is not whether you like or find his work necessary, the real issue is whether humans should die over a cartoon being published, or a book being published. Islam is just as violent as Christianity, but it’s the believers of both religions who make these religions violent. NOT THE TEACHINGS. Nobody should die over drawings or words. Whether you like those words/drawings or not. You are losing focus. Not a bit does it matter if you like, agree with or approve of Charlie Hebdo published work.


  4. Thanks for a wonderful post, Jennie. Means a lot to read this and know compassionate people like you are aware of the chasms and using their pens for a greater cause.
    No one deserves to die for sure for making a cartoon, but this incident is not just this versus that only and am afraid, really afraid of our future.
    How can we exist if we cannot even hold respect and dignity for diverse beliefs, religious or not?


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