Terrorist attack in Paris:

The Massacre of the Freedom of Speech by Islamic Extremists

January 08, 2015  |  By Melissa Dauby, France

Terrorist attack in Paris:

Photo : Claude TRUONG-NGOC

A vicious attack aimed at Charlie Hebdo's office occurred in the center of Paris yesterday, Wednesday, January 7th. Two men entered the building and killed twelve people. The shooting continued outside the building against police men. One was shoot at point-blank range while laying on the sidewalk injured and imploring them not to kill him.

The people killed were journalists, illustrators and police men. Major figures of French journalism as Cabu, Wolinski, Tignous, Charb and Bernard Maris died during the attack. Going out of the building the attackers yelled 'Allah Akbar' and then 'We avenged the Prophet'. They were referring to caricatures published by Charlie Hebdo's about Mahomet in 2006 and 2011. On these covers, Charlie Hebdo denounced the rise of Islamism using caricatures and humor as a weapon to warn people about the danger of radical Islamism.

This is therefore a new extremist Islamist attack that hits France in its center. After the attack, a massive support to the victims' families and friends, as well to the world of journalism appeared on social networks first and then through gathering in big cities, paying tribute to the victims. These gatherings are also a way to protest against what happened.

By attacking Charlie Hebdo, the killers did not only attack a group of people, they attacked freedom of speech, one of the foundations of the French Republic. Freedom of speech is fundamental for democracy and should never be condemned. No one should be killed for saying what they are thinking. This is why this evening people unite against terrorism, against this violation of freedom of speech. The tributes stream throughout the world by speeches, caricatures or simply this sentence 'Je suis Charlie' (I am Charlie).

Tonight, we are mourning the death of brave men and women who stood up for their ideas and got killed for them. The terrorists wanted to bring France down, they got it up and more united than ever. What happened in Paris is the demonstration one more time that radical Islamism has gone too far. These extremists do not understand their own religion. Islam, as the others religions, is a religion of love and peace, not of killing and violation of freedom.

The killers are today still actively being looked for. They wanted to kill Charlie, but instead they have made it a symbol of freedom, of unity. Charb said 'I prefer to die standing than to live on my knees', so let us all be united in the fight against this abomination. Thus, today I am Charlie, you are Charlie, we all are Charlie.

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