Turkish and regional Islamist newspapers have blamed the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo ("Charlie Weekly") for the attacks against it yesterday. Islamists and jihadists all over the world rejoiced over the attack, flocked to online forums and sharing their glee on social media.
The assault on the magazine, the worst terrorist attack in France in 50 years, killed 10 journalists and two policemen. Those murdered were staff of the magazine who had been holding their weekly editorial meeting at the time.
It has been reported that the jihadists targeted specific cartoonists. Among those killed was the magazine's chief editor Stephane Charbonnier and three of France’s most famous cartoonists: Jean Cabut, George Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.
One of the terrorists, aged 18, turned himself in to the French authorities. He gave the names of the other attackers, two brothers — Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34 — to the police. The manhunt for the two continues.
Paris was shaken this morning by another apparent terror attack when a policewoman was shot in the southwestern suburb of Montrouge by a man with an automatic rifle. The policewoman has since died of her wounds. The attack has not been definitively connected to yesterday’s shooting.
Another pro-AKP party paper, the Turkiye Gazetesi, ran the headline “Attack on the Magazine that Insulted Our Master the Prophet.” After it received heavy criticism on social media, the magazine changed their headline to “Attack on the magazine that published ugly cartoons of our prophet.”
— Seref Isler (@seref_i) January 7, 2015
By contrast Turkiye Gazetesi’s English-language website ran the headline “American Muslims Condemn Paris Attack on Charlie Hebdo” this morning. Yet inside the article, the same sentiment as in the article in Turkish is evident. The first sentence moves straight onto Charlie’s Hebdo’s “history of publishing unflattering depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.”
This should not come as a surprise. Turkey’s foreign minister said yesterday that terrorist Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal was welcome to move to Turkey should he leave Qatar, where he has been based, despite Turkey’s official status as a NATO ally.
As reported by the Daily Caller, Egyptian newspaper Shorouk said in its headline that Charlie Hebdo had “A history of insulting the prophet, ending in fire.”
These papers are all implying that the writers and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo brought the terrorist attack on themselves by exercising freedom of expression.
At the same time, many Western media outlets have decided not to publish Charlie Hebdo's cartoons so as not to upset Muslims. CNN’s Editorial Director Richard Griffith sent an internal memo reading, “We are not at this time showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet considered offensive by many Muslims.”
Several Western media outlets explained the motive of the ruthless murderers by saying that they were provoked.
As Douglas Murray wrote for the Gatestone Institute, “The press was already blaming the victims. Commentators on CNN opined that Charlie Hebdo had been "provoking Muslims" for some time. Perhaps they assume that it is easier to force good people to keep quiet, or keep their own media offices from being attacked, than to tackle to the problem of Islamic extremism head-on. It is easier blame Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Suzanne Winters, Salman Rushdie or Charlie Hebdo — and even put some of them on trial — than to attack the attackers, who might even attack back!”