What do we say to the families of the 12 people who died at the hands of terrorists? And for the 11 others who were wounded?
Staff at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly) were gunned down by hooded attackers in Paris. Apparently, the suspected Islamist gunmen were heard in the streets after the attack shouting "We have killed Charlie Hebdo. We have avenged the Prophet Mohammad."
Avenged the prophet? Taking the lives of people for writing a cartoon. Killing staff at a newspaper because you don't agree with their political satire?
You can be angry, you can be vindictive, but not vengeful.
Charlie Hedbo lives for controversy and to shock. But the satirical magazine mocks other countries, other religions, and other figure heads. Past covers include retired Pope Benedict XVI in amorous embrace with a Vatican guard; and an Orthodox Jew kissing a Nazi soldier.
Political cartoons are meant to give us pause to think, discuss and disagree. And perhaps Charlie Hedbo goes too far. But the senseless slaughter in the name of religion is still a senseless slaughter.
And whether you agree or disagree with their views and politics, Charlie Hedbo has the right to speak its mind.
As chief editor Stephane Charbonnier stated in 2012, "I live under French law. I don’t live under Quranic law.”
Charbonnier was one of the journalists gunned down.
Charlie Hebdo has published numerous cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad. Jihadists online repeatedly warned that the magazine would pay for its ridicule.
Not only is this an attack on free speech, it will once again mark all Muslims as radicals and ostracize the religion of Islam.