One year ago, terrifying murderers went into the Charlie Hebdo headquarters and slaughtered a bunch of satirical cartoonists.
This newspaper had in 2015 a minimal circulation because its cartoons were of so poor taste. The headquarters where the shooting took place were a few rooms in an office complex, nothing, negligeable. The attack meant that their very hard satire went viral.
But the French who hadn’t liked the paper support free speech at all costs and that got them going and they expressed solidarity: I love Charlie slogan appeared first in social media then in the streets, and pens were held up at arms reach during minutes of silent respect for the dead.
The danger cartoonists are in started about 5 years ago, insiduously. And now, cartoonists, especially political, and religious ones are targetted whatever their creed, more so if the cartoons are anything to do with the depiction of Allah or his prophet Mohamed. Because of social media, cultures are rubbing against each other. What we think of as silly and stupid in the West (Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons) are sacrilegious to some. Different sensibilities. Different humour. Different attempts to translate into a drawing situations. To close, this what a Canadian cartoonist, Brian Gable, said on January 8th of last year: