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In Praise Of Free Speech: Standing With Charlie Hebdo

The massacre at the iconic French satirical magazine has shocked the world, but also already united it.

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Twelve people were shot dead and five left seriously injured in the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in what many believe was a militant Islamist attack.
According to the BBC, witnesses on the scene heard the gunmen yelling “we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad”–likely in reference to the magazine’s 2011 cover depicting the Islamic prophet saying: “100 lashes if you don’t die from laughter!

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In a tweet from Charlie Hebdo sent just before the attack, a cartoon depicts ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi with the caption: “al-Baghdadi also wants to wish a Happy New Year.” In the cartoon, al-Baghdadi says, “Above all, I wish you good health!” and the magazine’s tweet reads, “Best wishes, by the way.”

World leaders, including President Obama, have rushed to condemn the attack. And journalists and cartoonist everywhere are taking a stand for free speech:

As the New York Daily News‘ opinion editor Josh Greenman so adeptly puts it:

Above you’ll find some of Charlie Hebdo‘s best covers. With sadness still thick in the air, today we are recommending peace and support for freedom of speech.

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.

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