tv Inside Story Al Jazeera January 7, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm EST
people of all politics, races and religiouses for more than 30 years. that breezy take no whoever approach was called provocative. thecharlie hebdo has been sued, blasted by some of the most powerful people in france, but today the murders were too much for the world to ignore. there would be no court date, evidence or testimony. cartoonists were killed for their insist tense that no one was off limits. >> 12 people are dead after armed men stormed the newspaper charlie hebdo.
>> the individuals went into the magazine offices and went towards the main editorial room where all the journalists were gathered. they shot ten people. eight journalists one protection policemen and an invited person. they shouted allah akbar. we'll avenge the name of the prophet. >> the assailants, who are still at large took off in a car which they abandoned and they carjacked another. >> it's an the of barbaricty against a newspaper that stands for freedom of expression, and journalists who are determined. >> france's president françois hollande raised the security level to the highest level.
this is 9 not the first time that the offices of charlie hebdo has been attacked. it was fire bombed in 2011. stephane charbonni er explained his paper's approach in 2012. >> it's been 20 years that we've been quote/unquote provocative on many subjects. it's just any time we deal with islam we have a problem and we have indignant and violent reaction. >> in 2006 a danish newspaper ignited a fierce disbait in that country after it published 12 editorial cartoons depicting the prophet mohammed. some up in sellers refused to sell the edition. and it sparked protests from
muslims around the world. any physical interpretation of mohammed is forbidden. in 2004, a film was made that was critical of islam and made killing of hate speech and free speech front and center in the netherlands. >> this time on inside story using violence and the threat of violence to silence unpopular voices. was charlie hebdo's irreverent in your face satire taking risks that they could not even imagine? joining me now with the latest from paris dana lewis. just before we went to air word started to trickle out in france that there have been arrested, that there have been suspects
identified. tell us what you know. >> well, this is being reported by mainstream french media at this late our in paris. they're saying that, in fact at minimum the authorities have identified the three masked gunmen who carried out these bold bloody attacks here in the center of paris today. they have even named them in one up in report. two of them are said to be in their 30s. another one 18 years old. according to these reports that are unconfirmed by the government or the interior ministry to be specific, and that one of them may have been arrested or have been known to authorities at one point for attempting to go to syria and he was stopped. unconfirmed by authorities but there are many french media reporting that indeed three suspects have been identified by the authorities and some have suggested that they may have been detained. but again no confirmation from
the authorities. >> in the hour since the attack, dana there has been an attempt to put together a timeline both at the scene and their attempted get away, these assailants. what have you been able to piece together? >> i mean, this is the main boulevard where this took place. it is surprising to me that they were able to get away when there are so many people walking along this boulevard at 11:30 in the morning, broad daylight. according to one witness, a woman we spoke to, she had just dropped her children off at daycare. she had come along here, like many out at that time of day she heard gunfire and she thought it was fireworks. it did not register what was going on. a group of policemen came up on bikes, and they came under fire as thee men came out of the building around the corner here. apparently none of them were hurt but another policeman who pulled up in a car just 200 yards down the boulevard
and i saw that car as it was being towed away from here tonight, and there was lots of bullet holes in the front windshield. that policeman was hit in the leg. he wound up on the sidewalk injured, and these men calmly, the masked gunmen walked over to him, shot him at point blank range and killed him. mayhem on the streets started to develop as they came out and people began to realize what was going on. people began to take videos of it from rooftops, and then they sped away from the scene up the boulevard to another area. they rammed into a van and another intersection not far from here, they continued on to another district of paris not very far from here. dumped the first car and then hijacked another one and made good their escape. >> al jazeera's dana lewis reporting from paris. thanks a lot. for the rest of the program we're joined by chief executive manager for the online magazine
slate. he launched the french edition of slate. project director of freedom of the press at threedom house and katherine at the george washington university. almost all americans will have little familiarity with the publication charlie hebdo. what should we know about it, and has it been under threat in the past, has it ruffled feathers very much in the past? >> yes for the last eight or nine years since 2006.
it has been characterized as being offensive to the prophet mohammed. so since 2006 they are under threats. they have been protected. their offices were burned in 2011, so they were under threat. but charlie hebdo was doing something special. it was not mainstream media. it's something satirical. it's not exactly the same, and we can compare it to the onion in the united states. it was only humor. it was only provocation. so what is usually published is political cartoons, very provocative political cartoons. they were against all
politicians, ideology, religions. they attacked the right they attacked the left. it was only joking. it was a kind of tradition. so they have been there for decades. that's the reason why there was this kind of the part of what we've seen in france for the last decades. >> professor help us out. you heard of tradition. is there a place in french culture that these satirical weeklies have that we really don't have a close equivalent to yet? >> that's a good question, and i've spent a lot of time anying about this as to how to even explain what this newspaper is, and what it represents because it's not the same as the daily show or the on onion necessarily. i think a lot of it actually goes back to the historical
traditions in france. we see remarkable political cartoons dating back to the 1700s, so it becomes a political gesture to address what is going on in society at any given time. i think one of the tricky sides as well also for us as americans to understand the differences in humor. sometimes when i personally would read charlie hebdo it would seem harsh to me, and i didn't necessarily see the humor, but on the other hand we get obsessed with the political correctness side of things, so you actually see a division in just what one culture could see as funny versus another. and so it's not an one to one map with any of our own humor traditions. but it is a very political-- >> an increasingly multi cultural europe, has there been more of a--let's say a contested
terrain of what was okay and what is not okay to publish? >> definitely. i think we've been seeing the trend as the previous caller explained. especially since the publication of the danish cartoons over a decade ago. that has trigged the limits of free speech, and what you can say about different religions and religion groups. i would say this attack has gone beyond anything we've seen before in europe. we've never seen the murder of a journalist in france. the last murder of a journalist in europe was 2001. this was the scale the barbaric barbaricty and scale of it is unprecedented. 10 journalists and 2 policemen have been killed. >> when we return, world leaders react to the kill negotiation paris, and we ask if killings
freedom of the press. >> we must never allow the values that we hold dear, democracy, freedom of speech, to be damaged by these terrorists. we must stand against what they have done. >> this horrific attack is meant to divide. we must not fall into that trap. this is a moment for solidarity around the world. we must stand strong for freedom of the expression and tolerance and stand against the forces of division and hate. >> president obama, british prime minister david cameron united nations' secretary ban ki-moon, welcome back to inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. we'll see one of the worst terror attacks on french soil in decades. as you heard leaders around the world are expressing outrage and
sympathy calling the killings an assault on freedom of speech. saying that it's an criminal attack and islam denounces any violence. did we open up a new era in europe when things like the killing of debates over the posts in denmark and other things started to reverberate across europe along with more targeted political violence like the attacks in britain the railway attacks in spain. >> it's ebbed and flowed over the years this really is on a
whole other level than we've seen before. there is a debate of what is acceptable journalism and how it covers issues, but this is not one of the mainstream newspapers. it is a satirical paper there is a special place and for satire and cartoons, they're supposed to be poking fun at different groups, different politicians, they're supposed to make people uncomfortable, wand so i think the limits are slightly different for an outlet such as that, such as charlie hebdo than for lemond or one of the main television stations in france. i think as we look at these limits, it's important to look at different types of media outlets. >> is it fair to say that across europe online and printed on paper that the european journalists work in a more regulated environment than american ones do.
>> there are a lot of difference between countries u.k. u.s. difference in europe, so it is difficult to characterize all the different types of journalism in europe. but we can say there is specific cultural behavior on different nations in europe. but usually it's more regulated but you have some place, and charlie hebdo in france was like that. where you are really open to everything when it's very provocative. sometimes they go really far you cannot appreciate but the fact that there have been
attacks because the humor was seen as blasphemy as something really shocking. everywhere in europe, and i think even in other parts of the world, because these attacks is really different than the kind of terror we have seen in france in the past. the narrow nature of this attack is different. >> is there a reaction in french culture to being told don't britain this, don't make fun of these people, especially when it comes to religious topics because of a french tradition of a very secularized public square. >> absolutely. and to understand this, the french-american comparison is very interesting when we go back to the founding of the two nations. the perspective of the u.s. was that our pilgrims were escaping
persecution, and we come to this new land and everybody should be able to do everything. it was a different approach in france at the moment of the revolution that there were all sorts of divisions in society under the king. once they want to establish a democracy in the public a new model, the idea is that we don't have divisions any more. we are all one nation. anything that would set you apart from other members of french society such as religion is a big un,and for a long time gender has been a question, but anything that prevents you from being just a model blank slate citizen should not be allowed in the public sphere. religion is the big question, and what do we do with it. of course, this model works quite well when french society didn't have a very diverse population. it was a question what do we do with the jews for one example
that was a huge debate that took a long time. now that we have even more of a population that has got even more diversity it becomes with what do we do with this? what i found interesting is that even though the french and american models are dramatically different in their philosophical foundations, we're asking the same questions. >> we'll have more inside story in a moment. when we return i'll ask my guests how large immigrant populations in britain france, the netherlands germany, have challenged idea about speech, culture, giving and taking offense. stay with us.
>> still with us eric from the online magazine "slate." and katherine professor of french and frank phone studies. does charlie hebdo get to hide under the same umbrella with lemond and other more conventionally journalistic publications? does it get protected by those same freedoms of the press that we hold dear when, in fact some of the things they drew were pretty gamey. we won't show them. people can only imagine the cartoons but it's not just the prophet muhammad sitting down reading or talking with his friends. there are some pretty filthy kind of cartoons that were included in the pages meant to
shock, meant to disrespect. must we stand with the principle that they get protected every bit as much as an exposé on a corrupt politician, let's say. >> well, i think they should. we do have strong and tight definitions of what permissible expression of freedom of speech are. they are directed towards violence. none of which i have seen that charlie hebdo was engaging in. yes, they were provocative and insulting potentially and they were uncomfortable. they would make people feel uncomfortable, but i didn't see anything that coo constitute would constitute excitement. i think they're protected and i think we all need to stand together to protect these principles on a global level and to insure that these attacks do not lead to a chilling effect
to broader self-censorship which is often the case after an attack on journalists. >> is there a point that the magazine will be able to survive this attack? >> yes, that's the real trouble. first, i think they are part of the freedom of speech, part of freedom of expression. now they have to be protected. now it is in disarray because all of their best cartoonists have all been killed. it's a small team. is it possible for charlie hebdo to survive today? that's a question--that's a question of people with talents who will be able to work for charlie hebdo again and they'll have to find this new team. i think in my opinion there is 90% that they will disappear and it is a tragedy.
>> professor the president of france, record unpopularity in recent years does this embolden the right which has been resurgent in france? >> i tend to expect that it will. i think it's probably a little too soon to tell exactly. but one thing that i did today was i watched all the different press communiques with all the contenders for leadership. president hollande has the reputation of being considered pretty weak. his nickname is based on a custard lobby and did he not convince me otherwise with his speech. but i did notice that nicholas sarkozy on the right is definitely moving forward with a more muscular language, and even beyond that is marine la pen, the leader of the national front, the even further right.
i think what we'll have to see is what comes up in the response. it seems that there is a moment of national unity coming on right now with everyone agreeing that this is a deplorable act. i don't know whether hollande is capable of making something of this or not. >> to be continued. katherine, eric, and karen thank you very much. that brings us to the end of this edition of "inside story." thanks for being with us. join us again next time in washington. i'm ray suarez. >> coming up at 6:00 p.m. eastern on al jazeera america we'll have all the latest on the deadly attack on a french magazine including a look at some of the social and cultural issues that may have influenced the gunmen. also the head of the fbi said that he isn't sure about much, but he is sure that north korea
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