January 7

2015, the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Charlie Hebdo is a weekly French satire magazine, known for its uncompromising (not to say crude) attacks on right-wingers, religions of all sorts, and politicians. In 2006 the magazine printed cartoons which mocked Islam and its founder, Muhammed. This provoked lawsuits but Charlie was undeterred, continuing to satirize Islam. A 2011 issue listed Muhammed as one of the editors and claimed that he was opposed to religious violence. Their offices were firebombed shortly thereafter but Muslim-targeted cartoons continued.

On January 7, 2015, two brothers, Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, French-born of Algerian descent entered the Charlie Hebdo offices and killed 12 people and wounded others, some of them journalists but also police officers, a janitor, and passers-by. They claimed to be operating under the sanction of al-Qaeda and shouted “Allahu Akbar! Allah is greatest!” as they escaped. Two days later the gunmen were cornered and killed as they tried to shoot their way past police.During this standoff, one of their supporters in Paris took hostages in a kosher grocery story and killed four shoppers.

 

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