“Je Suis Charlie”

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After the tragic attack in Paris, freedom of speech seems more precious than ever.  How anyone could become so twisted as to think that killing cartoonists, including an 80-year-old man, is in any way an honor to Muhammad, is beyond me.  While Charlie Hebdo is a publication that is centered around cartoonists, let’s not forget the others killed in this horrific terror attack, from editors to policemen.

Free speech is clearly both a gift and a right, and a terror attack like this is a huge motivation to wield that speech more effectively and powerfully.  Clearly, these jihadists don’t know the mind of cartoonists.  The subspecies of Cartoonist is such that we are driven to do the exact things we are told not to do.  Tell cartoonists to lay off Muhammad, chances are they’ll draw him more.

Let’s hope that besides encouraging more free speech, this high profile attack will bring more attention to the other journalists killed around the world, including cartoonists who are imprisoned and disappeared every year.

Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Mark Fiore — whom The Wall Street Journal has called “the undisputed guru of the form” — creates animated political cartoons in San Francisco. Read more of his work at MarkFiore.com, and follow him on Twitter: @MarkFiore.

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