Unimaginable horror in Paris which has left at least 18 people dead after a 3 day chase of brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi across Northern France after a massacre at the offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The killers were offended by pictures of Muhammad that Charlie Hebdo had previously published but Charlie Hebdo was far from an innocent victim, the magazines mission statement was 'to be as dumb and nasty as possible' which since its first publication in 1971, it certainly had.
Throughout the years, firstly named as Hara-Kiri, they’ve targeted just about everyone including the French President Charles De Gualle who they mocked on news of his death which forced them to be shut down by the French Authorities only for them to open up again under the name Charlie Hebdo, a reminder of the person at the centre of their controversy.
The magazines history includes a court case where it successfully defended itself against a case of inciting racial violence in France, accusations of anti-semitism when columnist, Sine, defended his pro-Palestinian views with the words: 'I’m an antisemite, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I want every Jew to live in fear, unless he’s pro-Palestinian. Let them die'. Sine was later sacked.
Another controversial front cover included the Pope advising bishops how to get away with paedophilia, a bishop orgy, God and Jesus in homosexual sex positions and a naked Muhammad in pornographic poses.
Following the Muhammad front page, France was forced to close 20 foreign outposts amid concerns that French nationals might be assaulted and the magazine was given a permanent police guard.
Sadly, it wouldn’t be enough to stop the tragic events which happened next but Charlie Hebdo set out to be as dumb and nasty as possible and it certainly succeeded.
The Catholic League has released a statement condemning the killings but saying that the murdered cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier provoked the massacre and his own death with his inflammatory cartoons and noted that: 'Had Charbonnier not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive'.
It could be viewed as harsh and we can only hope that the Kouachi brothers died a slow and unimaginably painful death for their actions but Charlie Hebdo is not an innocent magazine punished by religious fanatics for printing some cartoons mocking Muhammad, it's whole reason for being was to be as nasty, dumb and offensive to as many people as possible and while everyone will rightly condemn the cold blooded murders, some people will say this is sadly how it was always going to end for them and they were anything but innocently caught up in the crossfire.
The innocent ones are the dead police officers and shoppers who got trapped between a dumb and nasty magazine and a couple of heavily armed, religious fanatics .