Using guns and violence to silence voices who are seeking to explore and enlighten the world is the result of someone who fears their own reality. The result of someone who can't reconcile their thoughts with the world around them. Unfortunately, people use religion and weapons as a way to justify their actions.
As Salman Rushdie writes,
“Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect.”The details of the attack are unclear. This is known: three masked gunmen attacked the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine similar to early Mad magazine or the National Lampoon. The result, twelve people dead, many more in mourning.
The magazine's site now has a black page that says "Je Suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie"). If you click on the link for the pdf, you will see the same phrase in Arabic, German, Spanish, and other languages.
I recently wrote a blog post about the evolution of comics in France. Despite its age, Charlie Hebdo is still admittedly edgy A 2011 issue was renamed "Charia Hebdo," guest-edited by Mohammed. So, I was surprised to hear it mentioned on the morning radio news. Then saddened. Then devastated.
We are all Charlie. Art makes a difference. Look at the world for enlightenment.