Extremists Firebomb Newspaper Company

Posted on November 9, 2011

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Attackers used petrol bombs to burn down Parisian newspaper company Charlie Hebdo after printing “anti-Islamic” cartoons early in the morning of November 2nd.

The cartoon, renamed Sharia Hebdo, depicted the Muslim Prophet Muhammed and read “100 lashes if you’re not dying of laughter!”

Officials reported that the arsonist used two Molotov cocktail petrol bombs in order to destroy the office at 1 AM Wednesday morning. There were no reported injuries.

Bertrand Delanoe, the mayor of Paris, condemned the act of violence on grounds of freedom. “We are in a society that needs freedom of expression, and any violence that undermines this freedom… is absolutely unacceptable,” he stated.

Stephane Charbonnier, the director of Charlie Hebdo, expressed his frustration with the attacks by extremists. “If we can poke fun at everything in France, if we can talk about anything in France apart from Islam or the consequences of Islamism, that is annoying.”

The editor-in-chief went on to say what was “deviant and dumb” was the ignorance on the part of the attackers in terms of the content of the paper.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant also condemned the attack due to the abridgement of freedom. “The freedom of the press is a sacred freedom for French people. Everything will be done to find the perpetrators of this attack,” he stated.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon expressed his frustration and anger against the attack. “Freedom of expression is an inalienable right in our democracy and all attacks on the freedom of the press must be condemned with the greatest firmness. No cause can justify such an act of violence,” he released in a statement.

Although the magazine publication was looked upon as “anti-Islamic,” the French Muslim Council (CFCM) condemned the act of violence against the newspaper.

“The CFCM deplores the deeply mocking tone of the newspaper towards Islam and its prophet, but reaffirms with force its total opposition to any act or form of violence,” they released in a statement.

The magazine Charlie Hebdo has a long track record of being insensitive and irreverent to all religions. In 2007 the magazine reprinted twelve controversial Danish cartoons also depicting the Muslim prophet.

The magazine company was sued for incitement to racism by Islamic groups; however, the charges were acquitted by a French court.

Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier stated that this is the first time the newspaper has been attacked. “Although the building is standing, nothing is left,” he said while examining the wreckage of the offices.

The investigation continues to find the perpetrators linked to the attack. However, Stephane Charbonnier isn’t at all perturbed by the attack. “This is the first time we have been physically attacked, but we won’t let it get to us.”

Reported by Ian Seipker

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Posted in: News