Like so many around the world, I was shocked and saddened to see the brutal shootings at the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the executions of their editor, cartoonists and support staff unfold, leaving 12 dead and others critically wounded.
This French satirical magazine had it right. Their cartoons clearly define the radical Muslim faction. In fact, the cartoonists ominously called-out their fanatical behavior. These murderers brought these cartoons in which they were depicted to life. Their mistake is that the whole world now sees them for who they truly were. Even though the two brothers who carried out this attack have been killed, there are so many others with the same philosophy that they leave to carry on their hate crimes in their wake. However, I believe that this event and several other senseless massacres will ultimately spiral their downfall.
Here are the cartoons that caused the terrorists to inflict their rage. Their translations are explained via Slate.
What I’ve been most impressed with is the rallying cry, particularly among other cartoonists, illustrators and artists. Art became their weapon — as expressive response. They didn’t lay down their pens. Instead, they’ve fearlessly have come together to bring clarity to this madness and to prove that the power of the pen and freedom will endure. Just look at the number of tweets that these have been shared (prior to this posting). With social media and blogs, these messages will be a virus that will hopefully kill any support for these terrorists.
Cartoonists are a rare breed because they have to find the essence in their message to depict it with such simplicity and meaning. Knowing this and how hard it is to render a cartoon, especially when so fraught with emotion, this one below by Lucille Clerc is one of my favorites: taking something that is broken, sharpening it to a point — to bring it life again. This is art! The terrorists on the other hand, are not this clever or brilliant.