Vive La France


On Wednesday, January 7th, two masked men with AK-47 assault rifles stormed into the Charlie Hebdo office center in Paris and killed twelve people. This event prompted even more attacks. On January 8th, in Mountrouge, a southern suburb in Paris, a man from the same jihadist group as the two attackers at Charlie Hebdo shot and killed a police officer. On January 9th, the man who allegedly attacked the police officers went to a supermarket in East Paris, killed four people, and took several hostages. The police gunned down the man, and rescued fifteen hostages. Between January 7th and January 9th, a total of twenty people were killed in France in four different locations. At least twenty others were known to be injured, some in critical condition.


On Friday, January 9th, the two masked men, Said Kouachi and Chérif Kouachi, were found in hiding at the office of Création Tendance Découverte, a printing shop in Paris. When the police arrived, both men ran out of the building and started firing at the police. They were both shot down.


The Kouachi brothers defined themselves as a part of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. They targeted Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, for its depictions of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. They, like many Muslims, found these portrayals of Muhammad crude and offensive. The motive for attacking the Charlie Hebdo headquarters was, as Michael Morell, director of the CIA puts it, “[T]o to shut down a media organization that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad.”


Unfortunately for them, the outcome was very different from what they expected. Charlie Hebdo is now going to produce one million copies of its next week’s edition, compared to the usual 60,000. The Digital Innovation Press Fund donated €250,000 to support the magazine, and many other companies are doing the same. It’s clear that Charlie Hebdo is now more popular than ever, as people from all over the world will be buying the newspaper.


The terrorist shootings have impacted the entire world, especially France. Demonstrations against the shootings were held across the country, in cities such as Lyon, Nice, Rennes, Marseille and, of course, Paris. The slogan, “Je suis Charlie”, which translates to “I am Charlie” became an endorsement of freedom of speech and press. Now people’s belief in freedom of speech and press is stronger than ever. Everyone in France is wearing a “Je suis Charlie” shirt. The pride people now have in their right to say as they please can never be taken down, not even with two AK-47’s.


Featured Image Courtesy: Daily Tech