Case Studies Blog

The murders at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have serious implications for us all.

8th January 2015

Sadly terrorism has become a fact of life but in the past terrorism has usually been waged against governments. What is disturbing about this terrible atrocity is that it was waged against specific individuals who were not combatants in a war zone – they were ordinary people doing their job.

The cartoonists Wolinski and Cabu who died in the attack have been around for decades. Their work appeared not just in Charlie Hebdo, but also in mainstream publications, like Liberation and Le Monde. Even if people did not know their names, they will have instantly recognised their styles.

Good journalism sometimes takes you to places you may not want to go and discusses subjects that may be uncomfortable or even offensive for you to consider. Without challenge and discussion there is no progress. Intolerance is insidious; it has no borders and governments’ can offer no defence because the threat is home grown. It can strike anywhere at any time for any number of twisted reasons that make no sense to anyone except the distorted and twisted minds of the terrorists themselves.
We must all stand firm and fight this development with every fibre of our being. We must tackle the complex issues that are fueling these hateful and misguided acts. If we don’t act now then it is likely businesses will be next in line. A senior executive shot because their marketing campaigns for womens’ underwear were considered indecent. A creative director killed because a slogan they thought up was deemed blasphemous by some disillusioned hot head who lived in the same street. The global publicity that this atrocity has generated must highlight the world’s collective disgust, not provide oxygen to those who seek to destroy hard won progress and freedom of expression.