Charlie Hebdo is French for Weekly Charlie. It is a famous satirical newspaper which is known for featuring different contentious arguments, jokes, and cartoons. In brief, Charlie Hebdos’ trademark is publishing intriguing tabloid content through cartoons that usually reflect ideologies of left wing pluralism. Suffice it to say, behind the Charlie Hebdo magazine is a group of creative and brilliant minds that work together to make their thousands of readers think, laugh, and debate over different issues and convictions.
Although scores of readers admire most of the works published by Charlie Hebdo magazine, there are still those who criticise the said magazine company for being too liberated by observing a seemingly boundless freedom in mocking, disrespecting, and using important public and/or historical figures to make their point clear to the public.
Last Wednesday, this was exactly what landed Charlie Hebdo on hot water. Charlie Hebdo was attacked by two terrorists, Siad and Cherif Kouachi, who claimed that they were members of the infamous Islamist terror group, al-Qaeda. According to reports, the two masked gunmen forced their way into the France-based magazine company on January 7 and murdered ten innocent employees. An eye witness from across the shootout claimed that the gunmen appeared as if they have already planned their actions down to the last minute as they seemed highly knowledgeable about where to shoot, where to go, and what to do in the scene. Aside from killing ten employees from Charlie Hebdo, the two brothers were also held responsible for the death of two policemen and the injuries of five people.
Before the attack, the controversial satirical magazine company uploaded an image of Islamic State group head Abu Baghdadi as a cartoon. Charlie Hebdo also sardonically wished the Islamic State leader good health. Presumably, this was the act which triggered the terrorists to attack the magazine company in the hopes of avenging their prophet. Some witnesses claimed that after fleeing Charlie Hebdo, the two al-Qaeda members shouted in French saying that the prophet has been avenged.
This was not the first attack encountered by Charlie Hebdo magazine. Back in 2011, the magazine company had also been the target of firebombing due to its Mohammed-themed cartoons that mocked their prophet Mohammed.
While it is extremely disappointing how a narrow-minded group of individuals succeeded in their attempt to kill some of the bright artists of this generation, it is still important to remember that there are still many Charlie Hebdos out there who will remain faithful to their passion in writing and drawing despite the life-threatening challenges they get from expressing the opinion of the majority through art.
After the attack of the two brothers and the investigations conducted by the authorities, the families of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack came together and organized gatherings and vigils in order to commemorate the lives of the loved ones that they have lost because of the gruesome attack. About 500 people participated in the Vigil in the Bristol city centre holding signs that say Je Suis Charlie.