Our VoiceNews & Politics

Paris newspaper shooting an attack on free speech, humanity

Imagine 2050 • Jan 07, 2015

The deadly shooting at a French newspaper this morning is an attack on freedom of speech and on humanity at-large.

Police say 12 people died and several more were wounded after masked gunmen attacked the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office. According to reports, the attackers fled the scene after a gunfight with police.

Charlie Hebdo is a newspaper known for satire that informs, entertains and sometimes offends people or communities. The publication has been criticized in the past for publishing cartoons that were said to be insulting to Muslims.

“Pushing the boundaries of taste and testing the limits of free speech can come with risks — risks bold journalists and artists know well — but there is no justification for these heinous murders,” said Jill Garvey, director of the Center for New Community and publisher of Imagine 2050.

Terrorists aim to intimidate and instill fear on their way to achieving their own political goals. As details emerge about the attackers in Paris, it is clear that they were aiming for a frenzied response. It is critical that the media and politicians not fall into the fear trap and instead uphold freedom for us all.

This attack — and, indeed similar acts of violence around the world and in our own country — is part of a larger problem that continues to afflict humanity. It is important in moments like these that we stand in solidarity against such violence and work together to build an open and inclusive society.

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