Je Suis Charlie: I am Charlie

By Ivanka Northrop

Features Editor 
je suis charlie
The sound of gunshots rang out Wednesday morning at a satirical newspaper office in Paris. The masked gunmen, suspected to be brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, took off after killing 12 people causing a huge manhunt.
The killers’ attack on the newspaper Charlie Hebdo, was due to the satirical cartoons drawn about Islam. Witnesses state they heard the men yell “We have avenged the prophet Muhammad” as the attackers proceeded to shoot.
According to the France Diplomatie, “Freedom of opinion, expression and information and freedom of the press constitute one of the essential pillars of a democratic society.”
Freedom of expression–in this case by Charlie Hebdo–is important to France. However, what do these attacks mean for other newspapers like Charlie Hebdo?
France Diplomatie states that “France is particularly committed to press freedom and the protection of journalists. Media professionals are often the first to fall victim to restrictions on freedom of expression, particularly in times of armed conflict.”
Even for those who don’t agree or approve of Charlie Hebdo, France’s laws say that they have the right to write what they want based on their opinions.
Other countries, such as the U.S., are coming to France’s aid. According to BBC news, this is the most brutal terrorist attack that France has seen in the last 50 years.
The nation is being brought together by this tragedy and is having a national day of mourning. Many people are gathering and standing up for Charlie Hebdo, holding signs saying “Je suis Charlie” meaning “I am Charlie”.
France sees this leading to a lot more political and social tension due to their large Muslim population.
In an article from the New York Times, President Obama states “France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers.”