Yesterday (January 7th 2015), I was shocked to hear of a deadly shooting at the offices of Charlie Hedbo, a French satirical magazine based in Paris. The reason behind the shooting remains unclear as of right now. But, given the suspects backgrounds within radical Islam it can be safe to assume that these three men, that carried out the attack, took issue with the magazines stance on religion, specifically, the "religion of peace", Islam.
Charlie Hedbo was one of many outlets that has satirized the religion in the past along with others. I think that is most important to note, this is a magazine that isn't just out to get Islam, it is critical of all religions, from Islam to Orthodox Judaism So, why did the supposed "Religion of Peace" allow for something like this to happen at a magazine that seems to be pretty much equal opportunity when it comes to making fun of religions?
For clarity's sake, I don't believe that all Muslims are represented by the attack on Charlie Hedbo, but, could it be, that we have discovered that the majority of the Muslim community can't take a joke at the expense of their religion or even don't believe in freedom of expression? Or is this a problem with all fundamentalists? Now granted religious fundamentalists have committed their fair share of atrocities since the mid 19th century under the guise of "God's work" but there are few examples of physical attacks on satirists or atheists from any religions other than Islam. And, most importantly, the bulk of these fundamentalists aren't against free speech in the way radical Islam fundamentalists are. The most important thing, going forward, is that we don't give up our freedom of speech because of the heinous acts of extremists.
I have just recently learnt that someone has thrown several training grenades at a mosque in Le Mans and I will echo the Amazing Atheist's sentiments on violent retaliation. It is the complete wrong way to retaliate to these atrocious acts. Everyone should retaliate by satirising Islam at any opportunity that they get. Like the Atheist says, "This is not draw Muhammed day, this is draw Muhammed every day"
I will leave you with a quote from one of the victims of the attack, Stéphane Charbonnier, "I am not afraid of reprisals, I have no children, no wife, no car, no debt. It might sound a bit pompous, but I'd prefer to die on my feet rather than living on my knees"