I speak for everyone involved in PINAC News expressing our deepest sympathies for all of the victims of the Charlie Hedbo massacre in Paris and their families.
Charlie Hebdo was founded in 1970 in response to an act of French government censorship. In 2011, Charlie survived the first attempt by extremists to silence its pages after mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
After this latest calamity, we must all ensure that nobody silences Charlie Hebdo except lack of interest, relevance and readers – which did silence the magazine for 11 years after it ceased publication in 1981, prior to its first resurrection.
Google and others are stepping up to fund a print run of 1,000,000 copies of the next Charlie Hebdo.
That’s roughly 17 times the normal circulation.
Apparently, those who submit to the radical, violent branch of Islam never heard the longtime newsroom expression, “never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel,” which is attributed to Mark Twain.
In the last 22 years, France’s journalists suffered 8 lethal attacks. Wednesday, ten journalists were murdered, two cops killed, including one police death captured on video.
Not surprisingly, the end of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy was captured by a French citizen journalist, the latest example of how people from around the globe are learning what it means to Be the Media.
One of the officers killed, Franck Brinsolaro, was assigned to protect editor Stephane Charbonnier – known simply as “Charb” – because of ongoing death threats.
The other officer, Ahmed Merabet, who was killed on the street responding to the shooting, was Muslim.
In a handful of bloody minutes, three religion-driven mass murderers reminded the world that Freedom of Speech is a right that should never be taken for granted.
We can all agree or disagree with what someone says or publishes, but we are fortunate that our founding fathers all agreed that we have the right to publish it. This is a right that we continue fighting for each day.
Our First Amendment guarantees us both freedom from state established religion or compulsory worship, and the right to speak, print, protest, gather and to petition our government.
And our Statue of Liberty, an icon of freedom symbolizing La Liberté éclairant le monde (Liberty Enlightening the World), was a gift from the people of France, for they never wanted us to steer from the ideals established after the American Revolution.
Opposing viewpoints seek to suppress free thought and expression are calling on the French government to once again censor Charlie. This opinion by a London based Muslim Cleric points blame on government officials for failing to act as censors, and is abhorrent.
“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem” – Thomas Jefferson
It’s up to publishers who cover world news to punish the killers as much as the French government. The British daily The Guardian is leading the charge by publishing a range of the offensive images of Prophets drawn by Charlie’s cartoonists over the years.
Ultimately, violence breeds violence; killing the messenger tends to spread the offensive message in a far wider and more permanent fashion.
We, too, at PINAC News wade into topics which inspire passion and sometimes rage. And we have also been subject to acts of intimidation from critics trying to silence us, but fortunately, never to the violent extent we saw in Paris Wednesday.
It is with the greatest amount of humility that we seek the facts of circumstances which reveal inconvenient truths.
We honor Charb’s memory with his Emiliano Zapata-inspired motto in defending the freedom to speak, to photograph and to publish: “I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.”
Keep standing up PINAC Nation. Today, we are all Charlie Hebdo.