Today’s blog post was inspired by a sad event that I saw on the news. An event that was a familiar yet worrisome. If any of you saw the news or maybe it popped out on your instagram feeds then you may have seen “Je suis Charlie” or Charlie Hebdo. What is Charlie Hebdo? Most people might not know what this is and may even be confused and think that Charlie is a person however it is much more than that. Charlie Hebdo is a satirical magazine designed to make its readers feel uncomfortable when they look at the cartoon. The magazine wanted to get a reaction from its audience, and they were successful in this; however, their success also resulted in some of the employees deaths.
About five years ago the phrase, “Je suis Charlie” surfaced on the internet when 12 were killed and 11 were injured in the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. It really begged the questions:
Who came in to shoot these people? Why? And what did this mean for France, and the Muslim community?
Though I cannot speak for those who decided to kill Charlie Hebdo employees, my guess is that they were upset with some of the magazines posts.So after the attacks, Joachim Roncin, an art director at the magazine, coined this term as a way of trying to combat Islamic terrorism. However, it was also a way of showing solidarity. No matter what is happening whether it is bad or good we are all somehow in this together. In Rochim’s perspective, we are all Charlie.
Fast forward to today, what is happening in Paris and why should we care? In the area where Charlie Hebdo used to be headquartered, there was a shooting which resulted in two people being shot during their cigarette break. Is this a coincidence? No, I do not think so. After looking into the incident at Charlie Hebdo, something I discovered was that the trial that was being held for the Charlie Hebdo incident took place in September. Could this be retaliation? I do not know. However there is something that came to mind. In my 20 years on this earth whenever there is an attack on a Western country or city there is always backlash against a whole community. One major example of this was 9/11. After the attack anyone who was Muslim was mistakingly associated with being a terrorist. Though this is not the only example, it is one that we all are familiar with.
This is what worries me. Many Muslim and African populations in France will be associated with this attack. People will be discriminated against because they will remember Charlie Hebdo and how it impacted their beloved city, Paris.
If you would like to read more on Charlie Hebdo, here is this easy to read article that can give you background.