The Morality and Justification of the Attack on Charlie Hebdo

The satirical magazine in France, Charlie Hebdo, was victim to an attack by a group of Islamic origin in January of 2015. The satirical cartoons at times made fun of certain events, or racial and cultural groups, but all came under the protection of the laws of freedom of speech. After the attack in France, the prime minister Édouard Philippe stated in a news interview, aired on the BBC later on, that as a newspaper in France, the journalists have always “endeavored to show that in France, they can operate to defend their ideas.” Of course, the purpose of the satire was for humor, and with the right to freedom of speech, the publications by Charlie Hebdo were and should always have been considered legal. Charlie may have released images and cartoons which would have triggered sensitive people, but just because some may have been offended personally, it does not mean that the publications by Charlie were illegal, or should be stopped. And the same type of expression is published on the internet these days, as stated by the New York Times regarding the limitations of free speech after the attack, and the same type of expression if allowed in one form should not ever be limited in another form, like that of a physical magazine. Therefore, the publications by Charlie Hebdo, protected by the laws of a society in which freedom of individual expression is a fundamental idea, should not cause any controversy about the moral justification of the attacks.

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