Two masked gunmen wielding assault rifles have stormed a French satirical magazine on Wednesday (Thursday NZT), shot 12 people dead and injured 10 more, five of them critically.
The killers fled the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, near the Bastille, in a hijacked car.
According to unconfirmed reports on Twitter the gunmen had been shouting “Allahu Akbar” outside the offices, and were later involved in a shootout with police.
At the time of the attack the magazine was said to be holding an editorial meeting on an Islam-themed special edition titled ‘Sharia Hebdo'.
Police said the gunmen shouted “we have avenged the Prophet” after their attack.
This is basically religious fascism – killing people who do not subscribe to their religious tenets. These killings will have a chilling impact on media around the world – who will self-censor in fear of similar executions.
A firebomb attack gutted the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a publication that has always courted controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders, in November 2011 after it put an image of the Prophet Mohammad on its cover.
What would be a great response is for every media outlet in the western world to publish images of Mohammad, to send a signal that the more you use terror to try and create censorship, the more it will backfire.