Charlie Hebdo: Terror On Freedom Of Speech

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Charlie Hebdo: Terror, Freedom Of Speech And More.

It is all over the news now. The terror attack in France is certainly one of the deadliest this decade and has shattered a lot more than few people. The response has been of shock/disbelief/wonder/fright and a lot more of such adjectives and no wonder it is.

Who/What is Charlie Hebdo?
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Charlie Hebdo

Charlie Hebdo is the famous Satirical weekly in France. The magazine is well known for its anti religious, left wing viewpoint. It did draw a lot of flak from the fundamentalists and naturally a few terror threats too. The era of freedom of speech and expression right?!

History of Attacks

Apart from a number of threats Charlie Hebdo received, it faced two staunch terror attacks. The first one was in 2011 when Charlie Hebdo published controversial themed cartoons on the prophet Muhammed. The attack consisted of fire bombing and hacking of the website.

The 2015 attack was motivated by a tweet in twitter , a fresh satire on Islam. The terror attack consisted of 3 Gun men storming the office of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people among who 2 were policemen and 4 journalists. The gun men shouted

“We have avenged the Prophet Muhammed! We killed Charlie Hebdo”

This terror attack was claimed by the French president as the worst attack in French soil since 1961.

The Response

The worldwide response for this attack has been of empathy. People from across the world have come together to show support for the barbaric attack costing the life of 12 people. The world intelligence has joined hands to fight terror and bring justice to the victims of the terror attack. Although, none of it would ever be enough, it still is a measure which shows where people stand to efforts of terrorism.

Pen Protest: 
Pen protest france, charlie hebdo protest, charlie hebdo freedom of speech, france terror attack
Pen Protest: Courtesy:

The attack has severely questioned the Freedom of speech and expression, a right which France holds very close to its heart. The attack seems to send out a warning for people who make fun of religious beliefs.

However the people have come together with their Pen Protest, the pen representing the magazine and the freedom of speech and expression and the chants of “Pen Vs Gun”. The chants quote

” All of us are Charlie, you may have killed one, but you have not killed the spirit and freedom which Charlie stood for”

Why Terror? 

The terror attacks seem a commonplace news these days. The famous 9/11 of the World Trade Centre, or the Glasgow bombing or the 2007 terror attacks in India. Why so many of them? What is their agenda, what are they trying to prove?

A political Agenda? 

– A few of these attacks have clearly shown a political agenda like the ones in Jammu and Kashmir demanding freeing the state

– The attacks in Palestine and Gaza strip demanding the entire region

– The Syrian Attacks and so on…

Sending out a message?

– These have been mostly the acts of the religious fundamentalists who don’t seem to be very happy with the current world order of religion. We have always believed that the one true value of any religion is “Tolerance” but the whole point of these attacks seem to be driving the world in a completely opposite way.

We cannot love a religion because we are afraid of it. We can love a religion which can forgive us, which can embrace us and which can make us the human beings we want to be.

Few days ago there was the issue of Ghar Wapsi:Forced conversion of Muslims to Hinduism in Agra, a few decades ago it was the forced conversion of Hindus into christianity and so on.

But isn’t the whole idea of religion MAN? What is the point in imbuing fear in everyone?

Is terror the only option? 

If press/people are making fun of religion, is there no other alternative than to pick a gun and shoot the person making fun? What about the legal system, what about suing for slander? What about forgiving and laughing it off? Isn’t that what maturity is all about?

Well, every attack gives us a lot to think about, every incident does. I am still dismayed to know that terror can be sought of as such an easy alternative!

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12 thoughts on “Charlie Hebdo: Terror On Freedom Of Speech

  1. I was really surprised to hear all this… It simply shows the mentality… the cruel mentality of those people who attacked there. Well we cannot discuss about freedom of speech as anything can hurt the feelings and sentiments of anyone, but things should always be taken in positive way….

    1. Even I was Alok. I was shocked! It is very unfortunate that such things keep happening very consistently. I mean what had these people who died to do with it? The policemen and the other people there were the unfortunate victims. Who accounts for their deaths? And it is a human being in the end, it is not a sentiment which is being slandered. If they were so opposed by it why not go to the courts and sue these people. Why instead go ahead framing own laws and killing people.

      Is death the only answer? I am not satisfied with something doesn’t mean that I can carry a gun and shoot that someone who made me feel bad right? Such a disgrace 🙁

  2. The Terrorists are suffering from insecurity … and to think the cartoon showed bullets hitting the Prophet and the Holy book !

    What Religious Sentiments ? Does the Heinous Act by these Barbarians in the name of Islam does not hurt the religious sentiments of their community ?

    I sincerely hope Prophet Muhammad is reborn and catch the collar of these infidel dogs and say – “I do not want this !”

    1. I agree with you completely Amitabha. The insecurity sure has taken an ugly shape and a disgraceful one..

      I think religion is a safe excuse which people have been using for generations. It never makes any sense and it never has. It is people in the end, people with life and blood. Someone else decides to take that life and act god? What would the prophet or pope or the gods say when they see these very messengers commit such activities in the name of god?

      I am not a particularly religious person, but with the way things are going, these perpetrators are making sure that you lose faith in religion cos it can breed sentiments like these..

  3. it is sad SO SAD. human life has no meaning and is the cheapest in the world… any tom dick and harry can come and kill you .. simple as ..

    I would like to read and see where has Prophet Muhammad said he wants all this that some are doing in his name

    1. True mate.. It is very very unfortunate that life takes the last precedence while it should be of the prime importance. Yea and it is scary that it has gotten so easy these days. It as if the guns and ammos are available on the streets, organized cartels that support terrorism, drugs and what not. I shudder to think where this world is headed to!!

  4. Again a slightly different take, while I totally condemn what happened and it was a cruel act of terrorism, one also has to understand that if I knew there is a rotten part of this world and I also know that my doings will result it something really nasty, I would somewhere stop it. There is a difference between Satire and Insult, no matter what Koran is a holy scripture and it was insulting and hurting sentiments, I again say what happened is not justified but what was published all these years was also not right.

    1. In principle I do agree Shweta, maybe they did take it a bit far. But they have done it with other religions as well.

      If it were me, if I did not like something, I would stop looking at it, start avoiding it and maybe write an article about it. I mean I do agree that there are a lot of occurrences in this world that hurt me., But my question is, if I let these things hurt me, I am making it so easy for someone else to take control of my life and make me feel bad. But the bigger picture fails miserably. I am not advocating being thick skinned, but I would certainly endorse our own self control.

      As for what happened at Charlie Hebdo, I think it was violation of rights of all accord! If it is not Charlie Hebdo, some other company will start and the radical views keep coming. As for the idea of these people trying to kill them all.. I would be really be afraid of a world where it becomes so easy to establish intolerance and fundamentalism..

  5. The magazine also had cartoons about Pope, they were equally satirical with every religion. I just want to quote Voltaire for those people who have no other option to establish their point but violence, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.

    1. Yeaaaa .. I was looking through the magazine, they have made a satire of every religious belief. As their wikipedia page says, they are a magazine whose definition is anti religious satire. The company is licensed and I am sure there are enough laws in the government for a slander. I think it is time that we rise above the misconception of religion and look at the bigger picture – man making. It makes no sense at all to keep oneself constrained to the cultural cuffs when there are so many boundaries to breach and so many achievements to make. It is as if religion is acting police and these messengers take the liberty to kill!! Gosh! It is such a disgrace!

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