9 January 2015 - Reactions to Paris attack
Paris attack: Universal values, universal outrage
Rick Hampson (USA Today)
This time, the terrorist target was not a state or a politician, not a commuter train, a subway station or a pair of giant office towers.
The target was freedom of expression, a value so fundamental it's recognized in the English Bill of Rights (1689), the French Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789), the U.S. Bill of Rights (1791) and the U.N. Universal Declaration of Rights (1948).
And the world reacted commensurately, with a unity that was fierce, angry and rare.
"Humor is the canary in the coal mine of free speech," said Bob Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker magazine, after gunmen stormed the offices of a French satirical newspaper called Charlie Hebdo that caricatured the prophet Mohammed. "We all have to stand up today, whether we are humorists or not.''
Ewen MacAskill (The Guardian)
The head of MI5, Andrew Parker, has called for new powers to help fight Islamist extremism, warning of a dangerous imbalance between increasing numbers of terrorist plots against the UK and a drop in the capabilities of intelligence services to snoop on communications.
Parker described the Paris attack as “a terrible reminder of the intentions of those who wish us harm” and said he had spoken to his French counterparts to offer help.
Speaking to an invited audience at MI5 headquarters, he said the threat level to Britain had worsened and Islamist extremist groups in Syria and Iraq were directly trying to orchestrate attacks on the UK. An attack on the UK was “highly likely” and MI5 could not give a guarantee it would be able to stop it, he said.
AP (The Mail)
The younger brother was a ladies' man who belted out rap lyrics before the words of a radical preacher persuaded him to book a flight to Syria to wage holy war.
Less is known about his elder sibling, whose ID card was found in the getaway car used by the gunmen in the newspaper-office massacre in Paris.
But U.S. officials said Thursday both were on the U.S. no-fly list and the older brother had traveled to Yemen, although it was unclear whether he was there to join up with extremist groups such as Al Qaeda.
John Kass (The Chicago Tribune)
There are many profound inscriptions on the lobby walls of the Chicago Tribune, from great poets, philosophers, justices, each celebrating liberty and the mind of Western man.
But with the news out of Paris that Islamic terrorists killed at least a dozen people at the political humor magazine Charlie Hebdo, I found myself lingering under one such quote wrongly attributed to the great French writer Voltaire.
"I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
Unfortunately, Voltaire didn't say it. His biographer said it for him. Still, it holds in essence the French understanding that liberty without free speech is not liberty at all, and that a free people should be free to speak their minds.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"9 January 2015 - Reactions to Paris attack", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), août 2015. Consulté le 11/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/9-january-2015-reactions-to-paris-attack