For some 45 years on and off, the French magazine Charlie Hebdo (Charlie after Charles de Gaulle, Hebdo meaning weekly) has pointed its satirical pen in all directions, particularly at right-wing political parties and organised religion. Some examples:
Like all satirists, they were unpopular among those whom they lampooned, but their fearless inclusion of Islam among their targets led to two terrorist attacks, the second of which resulted in the deaths of eight employees, and four other people.
The murders provoked immediate and poignant responses by many cartoonists, some of which are reproduced below.
Ruben L. Oppenheimer:
Several more can be found here.
There has been much written about this atrocity and more will come, no doubt. But perhaps one of the most helpful is from Olivier Tonneau: On Charlie Hebdo: A letter to my British friends It provides some much-needed background information that helps those not steeped in French culture to make sense of the events. (As so often, we Irish can make use of something intended for a British audience.)
Atheist Ireland’s chairperson Michael Nugent discussed the attacks and their implications on TodayFM and on BBC Radio Ulster. and on RTÉ’s Prime Time.
Our usual involuntary contributors have not been quiet on this issue:
And finally, because we can’t allow evil to triumph, because we can’t allow violence to dictate our actions, because we can’t allow ourselves to be dragged down to the lowest common denominator, because we can’t stop speaking out, because we can’t stop provoking, questioning and laughing at absurdity and because we can’t forget, we can’t ever forget that love is stronger than hate: the last word, the last picture, belongs to Charlie Hebdo, published following the terrorist attack they suffered in 2011: