Are you familiar with the French satirical magazine known as ‘Charlie Hebdo’? Neither was I until today. But it is exceptionally well known in France. Charlie Hebdo takes aim at all manner of public and private individuals, organizations, politicians and religious figures. Virtually no one is safe from their well sharpened barbs – including the Prophet Muhammed. Which is what led to an event that took place hours ago in Paris. The BBC reports:
Gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack. Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.
It’s always interesting to note the moral cowardice of the mass media in reporting things that are so patently obvious on their face as to be absurd. “Apparent militant Islamist attack”. It’s as “apparent” as the Sun rising in the East.
President Francois Hollande said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”. I guess we have to give Hollande style points for acknowledging that it was a “terrorist” attack.
The Koran inspired massacre is said to be the deadliest single attack since 1961, when a politically motivated bombing of a commuter train killed 28.
The militants – at least two, according to witnesses, in the Charlie Hebdo assault raided the magazine’s headquarters and upon identifying their victims, unleashed a barrage of Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifle fire in the offices and exchanged a volley of rounds outside the building with police in the street, before they made their escape via a waiting car driven by a third Jihadist involved in the conspiracy.
One police Gendarme, wounded in the shootout was executed by the militants with a close range shot to the head. Reportedly, they carjacked a second vehicle in their efforts to shake off authorities.
Wandrille Lanos, a TV reporter that works out of an office across the street from the Charlie Hebdo offices, was one of the first people to enter the Charlie Hebdo office after the attack.
“As we progressed into the office, we saw that the number of casualties was very high. There was a lot of people dead on the floor, and there was blood everywhere,” he told the BBC.
Making the BBC’s tepid summary of the event as an “apparent militant Islamist attack” all the more deliberately naïve and absurd is the fact that witnesses said they heard the gunmen shouting “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic (“Allahu Akbar”).
Perhaps the BBC is not peeing on my leg and it really is raining, but it seems to me that avenging the Prophet Muhammad and “Allahu Akbar” probably excludes, mmm, I don’t know – a Christian, Jewish, Hindu or disgruntled ex-employee attack or something organized by apostles of Kim Jong Eun?
And of course, we can state with reasonable certainty that the above named parties would have little in the way of a visceral response to images such as this:
Making the BBC look even more effeminate in a journalistic sense is that the latest tweet on Charlie Hebdo’s account prior to today’s slaughter was a cartoon of the Islamic State militant group leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
U.K. news org, the Guardian quotes French interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, as saying that all measures were being taken “to neutralise these three criminals”. A French prosecutor said all security agencies were participating. But authorities took no questions and gave no details of the manhunt.
The names of four of the victims that belonged to the Charlie Hebdo staff were released by French officials. They are editor and cartoonist, Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb; and three other cartoonists: Cabu, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac, known as Tignous. Writer and economist Bernard Maris, who contributed to Charlie Hebdo, was also a fatality of the attack.
As of this writing, the assailants are still at large and it is reasonable to assume that they have found shelter among sympathetic members of the Muslim community in or around Paris. It will not be easy to track them or develop leads because there are sizable swaths of the Parisian metropolis that have become so radicalized that even French law enforcement has ceased policing them.
‘Charlie Hebdo’ is a sort of a Canary in a Coal Mine’ with regards to freedom of the press in France. Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, 47, had received death threats in the past and was living under police protection. BBC tells us that the weekly has courted controversy in the past with its irreverent take on news and current affairs. It was firebombed previously in November 2011 a day after it carried a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.
Hugh Schofield, BBC’s correspondent in Paris, says of Charlie Hebdo, “Charlie Hebdo is part of a venerable tradition in French journalism going back to the scandal sheets that denounced Marie-Antoinette in the run-up to the French Revolution.”
People had been “murdered in a cowardly manner”, President Hollande told reporters at the scene. “We are threatened because we are a country of liberty.” UK Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: “The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press.”
Let me be clear in my affirmation that I am not blaming the victims. Absolutely not, but the French government’s policy of enforcing multi-culturalism, while continuing to allow and encourage throngs of non-assimilating followers of the Religion of Hate into the country, have set the stage for this and numerous recent atrocities.
It’s not surprising that the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 sparking riots in Muslim countries, says it has stepped up security in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack.
There is a trend in Europe toward rejecting political correctness, non-assimilation and passive regulation of immigration and laws. Today’s mass killing – technically a Holocaust, will assuredly give that campaign even more momentum, both in France and elsewhere on the Continent and in the U.K.