Nous sommes tous Charlie
"We must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day," writes The New Yorker's George Packer of the real blame for the Charlie Hebdo murders (45,000 shares) after the shooting at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine. "It's not about cartoons or immigrants or the US invasion of Iraq," harmonizes CNN's Jonathan Wald. "Brilliant, cogent analysis by Packer in the @newyorker on how ideology is to blame for Paris terror attack," praises Ray Hennessey with Entrepreneur Magazine. Alessandro Speciale with Bloomberg News also notes, "Mustapha Ourrad, copy editor, was about to receive French citizenship according to Le Monde. A name to remember."
Contrast that with this opposing view by Anjem Choudary published in USA Today (10,000+ shares). "Why did France allow the tabloid to provoke Muslims? ... Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression," Choudary writes, to the outrage of thousands. "Not too often you see 'is a radical Muslim cleric' in the bio line of an op-ed," muses Nieman Lab's Joshua Benton. "Of the 1.6 billion Muslims on Earth, @USATODAY chose Anjem Choudary to write an op-ed on the Charlie Hebdo attacks," The Atlantic's Matt Ford tweets in disbelief. But Elizabeth Renzetti with Globe and Mail posits, "So this viewpoint is repulsive. Isn't that what we're defending today, the right to be repellent?"
The Onion gets it right, however, under its most poignant post yet that it's "Sadly Unclear Whether This Article Will Put Lives At Risk (44,000 shares). "They excel at maintaining their tone while expressing clear sadness and anger," reflects NOW Magazine's Jonathan Goldsbie. In a rare move, former Onion editor Joe Randazzo felt compelled to speak out: "You cannot kill an idea by murdering innocent people." (27,000+ shares).
The world over, cartoonists have been busy memorializing, and BuzzFeed compiled 20 of the most heartbreaking offerings (38,000 shares). "Picture this: An homage that will break your heart and make you want to take up drawing," predicts Samantha Dunn with the Orange County Register. There was some dispute early on over whether this most popular response was crafted by Banksy or Lucille Clerc (now seems it was Clerc), but what's incontrovertible is how strongly that illustration resonated with others, as it was reshared 88,000+ times. The Guardian's Steve Bell sketched a take on the attacks that was also well received (23,000+ shares).
More debate arose after BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray and Ellie Hall reported that some outlets are censoring Charlie Hebdo's satirical cartoons (6,800+ shares). "Can't help but feel the gunmen got exactly what they wanted - censorship," laments Robyn Vinter at LondonlovesBusiness.com. For its part, the New York Times explains, "Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities." The Washington Post didn't shy away from it, though. Here's the position of Andrew Griffin with The Independent : "'Letting the terrorists win' rhetoric has never worked, and never will. Oppose bullying of all kinds."
Regardless of their position on printing the images themselves, the Times is hosting Ross Douthat's case that offensive illustrations nevertheless are the blasphemy we need (8,000+ shares). Douthat writes, "if publishing something might get you slaughtered and you publish it anyway, by definition you are striking a blow for freedom." If you haven't read his piece already, please do.
Confusion abounds over the suspects arrested. Arrests reportedly have been made as the police hunt continues, and at least one suspect allegedly surrendered himself. What remains clear, Juan Cole writes, are sharpening contradictions on why al-Qaeda attacked the satirists. "Horrific murder was not pious protest defamation of religion but attempt to provoke pogrom against Muslims," Siddharth Varadarajan further elucidates. Cole's concern does not seem unfounded, as reports of attacks on French mosques mount.
The Guardian is hosting a live #WeAreCharlie evening of discussion and debate tonight with proceeds going to the families of our murdered French colleagues. While we regret to tell our London readers that tickets are already sold out, we must admit that's a beautiful thing and solidarity is wonderful. The National Union of Journalists also called for all supporters of press freedom to join a minute's silence (sorry, Americans, it's already passed). You can also find a #JeSuisCharlie gathering near you.