Free speech means that no-one has a right to not be offended: otherwise everyone would be reduced to mumbling platitudes and saying nothing for fear of causing offence to someone, somewhere. Religion (especially monotheistic) is, almost by definition, intolerant - it presumes itself to be right and everyone holding a different view to be wrong. 'Western' civilisations moved from clerical to secular several hundred years ago, and in a secular civilisation religion - like politics, sport, almost anything - is fair game for satire and even ridicule. There have been things in the media to offend Christians relatively recently and, even though these have sometimes provoked a outcry, they have generally not led to violent reprisals. Muslims need to understand that France is a secular society, freedom of speech is a cherished (and hard won) principle, and people who live in France must respect that even if they are offended. There are places with clerical societies (curiously, all of them Islamic) which less tolerant Muslims could move to, but somehow I think for all their proclamations, they would find the lack of liberty unbearable.
People can debate all they want about the true meaning of a religion and display all the cultural sensitivity in the world. The recent shootings at Charlie Hebdo show that mentally deranged people that have guns are a big problem. If anyone has a so called faith that can not stand the scrutiny of a cartoon, their faith is even more ridiculous than a cartoon.
In France, along with many other nations we have the right to freedom of speech. If you don't like what is said, don't read it. Religious extremists are the worst threat to a free society that we have. Charlie Hebdo was and is right. As far as the comments to the left here screw your prophet Mohammed and Islam. You are tormented because you have caused more problems in the modern world than we can count. It is not a lack of respect to satirize. It is a lack of respect on your part to assume we should allow you to murder but we should be quiet for fear of offending you. We will not do this.
Even in Medieval times, the nobility recognized the need for satire, as the court jester was the only person able to freely criticize kings and queens in the guise of humor. We can only enjoy freedom when we are allowed to hold a mirror up to every sacred cow and deal with each one honestly and openly. Those who would seek to silence free speech in any way are the enemies of all mankind.
Just because it was done in the past, it does not mean it should be done again in the future. The western world is aware that printing images of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is prohibited in Islam. So what goal does it serve to upset people who already feel tormented and singled out for their beliefs already. Do such a thing shows a lack of respect, and a school yard bully mentality.
In my opinion both Hebdo and the extremists were wrong. Before I go into my argument I want to say that I am not justifying the extremist's behavior. What they did is totally evil, disgusting and a invasion of our freedom. Charlie Hebdo released very offensive, disgusting and horrible cartoons that are offensive to every Muslim. Everyone is saying that it is freedom of speech. If that is the case then the suicide deaths caused by offensive messages given to various people could also be called freedom of speech. Having an opinion on something is fine but when they become offensive then that is when they cross the line. When a religion is criticized and abused with hateful messages that crosses freedom of religion, the ability to practice and share a religion without being abused. Those messages were verbally abusive. What happened to Hebdo makes me angry and disgusted and my heart goes out to the families and friends who lossed loved ones. The extremists are abusing our freedom and rights and must be stopped but posting an offensive message that is not only offensive to them but also to millions in our own countries is not necessary to stop terrorism.
Charlie Hebdo did have the full right to publish whatever they wanted and this right was enshrined by the freedom of speech. But in a multicultural society, a magazine should try to avoid touching the subjects that might lead to polarization of the society. Charlie Hebdo was right to exercise their right; but they were wrong to ignore societal implications. For example, a newspaper has the right to focus on an irrelevant story at the expense of relevant ones; but is this professional and desirable? The answer is 'No'.
While respecting freedom of expression, we have to consider also civility. Disrespecting people's religion is kind of Bullying and cause of unnecessary violence. Why is the liberal media partial democrat and have two type of standards when it comes to Freedom of Expression. ? For example when People or institutes comment something they don't agree or believe like Gay Marriage, we see the liberal media and hipsters hunting down ( terrorizing ) those companies and individuals by labeling as if they do " hate Crime". We have seen what was happening on the "CHICK- FIL-A and different famous people because of their Gay thing belief but when it comes when liberal media disrespecting people's religious values, we claim " freedom of expression.
At the same time Extremist religious people don't have the right to force and kill people because people didn't follow their religion and because others disrespect and comment about their religion. There is a rule of law in this world. They can teach/ preach about their religion or if they think they are getting bullied, they can sue to legitimate justice institute, not killing anyone.
Finally these all blood sheds are happening because our world is lacking tolerance and civility. We don't have to disrespect others belief and on the other side believers should know that their belief is only for them privately, not others and they can't force others to belief what they believe