The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie (or I Am Charlie) is trending today on Twitter as millions across the world show their support for the satire weekly that was the subject of an attack that left 12 dead on Wednesday.
The BBC reports that among the dead were the paper’s four well-known cartoonists, including the paper’s editor.
Stephane Charbonnier, 47, as well as cartoonists Cabu, Tignous, and Wolinski, were killed in the attack, which occurred during an editorial meeting.
Eight others were killed and at least four more were critically wounded in the assault. The gunmen are believed to be Jihadists retaliating to the paper’s satirical cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad.
Since many woke up to the tragic news this morning, they’ve been taking to social media to dispense images like the one above with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie to show those responsible — who have yet to be apprehended — that intellectual freedom will not be suppressed and is a much more powerful force than the threat of violence.
Actually I have a lot of words. Murdering people because you do not like their jokes makes a travesty of your religion. #JESUISCHARLIE
— Tink, the Duchess (@Tinkerbell_) January 7, 2015
— Vidya (@VidyaKrishnan) January 7, 2015
To further this “retaliation” against violence and bring it from the online world into the real world, many are organizing #JeSuisCharlie rallies across the globe. In fact, this tweet shows how many have sprung up since news of the tragedy broke.
According to the Huffington Post, the U.S. embassy in France was one of the first to change its main Twitter photo to a text image reading “Je suis Charlie.” President Barack Obama also condemned the “horrific shooting,” noting the following.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time.”
In 2013, Charbonnier’s name appeared on a “Wanted Dead or Alive for Crimes Against Islam” published in Inspire, al-Qaida’s terrorism propaganda publication. He was placed under police protection, but said he was not intimidated by the threats. He said the following in 2012.
“Muhammad isn’t sacred to me. I don’t blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don’t live under Quranic law… The freedom of the press, is that a provocation? I’m not asking strict Muslims to read Charlie Hebdo, just like I wouldn’t go to a mosque to listen to speeches that go against everything I believe.”
I’m a Muslim journalist. Although I disagree w/ anti-Islam cartoons, my faith compels me to respect the rights of others. #JeSuisCharlie
— Sarah Harvard (@sarah_harvard) January 7, 2015
From Plato to Swift, Orwell, Bulgakov, even Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Satire has always been crucial to healthy debate. #JeSuisCharlie
— Jess Shankleman (@JessicaBG) January 7, 2015
Will you be posting a #JeSuisCharlie tweet or attending an event? Share your thoughts on this horrible tragedy in our comments section.
[Images via Twitter and Charlie Hebdo]