The last three days have been chaotic, dramatic and deadly for France. It started on Wednesday morning when two masked gunmen forced their way into the offices of the weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo and massacred 12 people, including one policeman and injured numerous others. In a related incident another policewoman was killed on Thursday and then today, four innocent shoppers and three (of the four) perpetrators were also killed. All in all, a low point in recent French history as the “homegrown Islamic terrorist” struck at the heart of France. Cherif and Said Kouachi were the Charlie Hebdo murderers and were killed north-east of Paris. Amedy Coulibaly is suspected of killing the policewoman on Thursday and killed four shoppers at Hyper Cacher, a kosher (Jewish) grocery store in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris. Initial reports were that he had an accomplice, Hayat Boumeddiene but there is no information on whether she was killed or escaped or even part of the supermarket murders.
For now, this ended today. There will be a lot of analysis of this tragedy, some blow-back in France, a lot of condemnation from around the world – but the question of how to tackle Islamic terrorism within free, liberal democracies will continue to prevail. The radical Islamists tend to use liberal laws that will extend their agendas, while preaching preaching that their religion supersedes all other rules and laws of their countries. France has a lot of “baggage” when it comes to its former colonies, especially Algeria and with it Islam, that will make things harder in the wake of these deadly terrorist attacks.
“By attacking the freedom of expression, the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo killings – and, separately, the murderers of a young policewoman – struck a raw nerve that brought the people, this time united, into the streets with the sympathies of the rest of the world firmly behind them in support.” (Euronews)