A heartfelt goodbye to an atheist icon.


Four Decades and 20,000 Abortions Later, Anne Nicol Gaylor’s Organization is Still Going Strong

Anne Nicol Gaylor is an 86-year-old abortion provider with no medical training of her own. Her “office supplies” consist of little more than a pen, paper, checkbook, and a telephone. On a Tuesday morning this past July, in a retirement home just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, I sat in her living room as we waited for calls from women who needed (or wanted) to obtain abortions but just didn’t have the ability to pay for them. She is their last hope for a handout.

As the founder of Women’s Medical Fund, Inc., a non-profit group she formed in 1976, Gaylor asks intimate questions of strangers without the slightest hesitation. There’s no time for emotion. There’s work to be done.

Are you single or married?

How much money do you make?

Did you use contraception?

Is the man involved helping you?

How much will your procedure cost?

Did you see a doctor yet?

Have you had an ultrasound?

Gaylor has answered the phone like this more than 20,000 times. Since 1995, WMF has raised and spent nearly $3,000,000 to help women, with most of the money — just over $200, on average, per caller — going to a small handful of providers like Planned Parenthood. The funding comes mostly from individual donors, though about a quarter of the funding last year came from foundation grants. Its mission is to make sure that a woman’s right to reproductive choice is not denied because she doesn’t have enough money, regardless of whether the pregnancy is unintended or unwanted. The organization has no paid staffers, only dedicated volunteers. And, for the moment, Gaylor is just sitting in her recliner, waiting for the next caller, waiting to write her next check.

Anne Gaylor at her 80th birthday party (via Annie Laurie Gaylor)

Depending on who you ask, I’m sitting in front of a sweet woman in the final years of her life or someone who will dread meeting her Maker; a modern-day savior or a prolific serial killer; one of the great feminist activists of the past several decades or, as one newspaper columnist put it, “Granny Blood-Money.”

There are only a few prerequisites that must be met before a check can be written: the caller must live in (or plan to obtain the abortion from a shortlist of clinics in) Wisconsin, she must be more than eight weeks pregnant, and she must visit a clinic to confirm her pregnancy. Once Gaylor can verify that information, she writes out a check for up to $400 directly to the hospital, clinic, or physician performing the procedure. She also refers the callers to another national organization that may be able to write out an additional check, allowing the women to pay as little out of pocket as possible. Gaylor used to give out some of the money as a loan, hoping to get paid back eventually, but she knows better now. The women are just too poor. Still, she tries to get them to put up a little money of their own, even if it’s only $25, so that they don’t see her fund as a form of free birth control.

When I ask Gaylor how young her callers are, she opens up a nearby nightstand and pulls out a folder containing a stack of papers, all records of her phone conversations over the past few days. A sheet near the top documents a phone call she received the day before my visit, concerning a 13-year-old girl who had been raped by her 17-year-old brother.

How is anyone even supposed to process information like that?

I’m not sure whether to follow up with a question about the incest, the rape, or their ages. All crimes are reported to the police by the clinics, so Gaylor doesn’t deal with those issues. Her primary concern is whether the caller (in this case, the girl’s older sister) can pay for the procedure.

She’s immune to the horror stories by now. While it’s the first time I’ve ever heard such an awful story, she hears them on a regular basis. The youngest caller this year, she tells me, was only 11.

Gaylor knows the trends, too. While she hears from women all throughout the month, the calls tend to come near the end of the week, when some of the women receive a paycheck, and around the first of the month, when the welfare checks arrive. They don’t cry as much as they used to. They all cried when abortions were harder to come by, she recalls, but now only some shed tears. Most are just nervous. Emotional. Worried about how to pay for it. Wondering how they’ll reconcile their religious faith with their decision. Wondering if they can keep this a secret from their immediate and extended families.

Do you ever hear back from the women who call for help? She shakes her head. Few of them ever want to talk about the procedure after it’s happened. Gaylor herself has never had an abortion. In 1958, a few years after giving birth to her fourth child, she had a tubal ligation (something she highly recommends to women who’ll listen).

I wonder if there’s anything that could help make things better for her organization. More donations? Paid staffers? Nope. None of that. She just wishes women had easier access to birth control. She wishes young women could more easily report instances of rape and get immediate help. But “as long as men keep attacking women, you’re going to have a need” for abortion services.

Women’s Medical Fund, Inc. unofficially began in March of 1970, just after Wisconsin’s anti-abortion laws were declared unconstitutional by a district court. The ruling effectively made first-trimester abortions legal in the state. (It wasn’t until 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, took a similar position.)

Gaylor was already a vocal abortion-rights advocate at the time. In 1967, she wrote an editorial (she believes it to be the first of its kind) in favor of an overhaul of the state’s abortion laws. In the years to follow, she joined the Association for the Study of Abortion and the Wisconsin Committee to Legalize Abortion, spoke about the issue on radio and TV shows, and wrote a number of letters-to-the-editor of local newspapers. But in 1970, building off a program launched by scientist Paul Ehrlich, Gaylor began the Zero Population Growth Referral Service (ZPG), where she could direct women to cities where abortion services were readily available. After the Wisconsin court’s ruling, her phone began ringing — women knew they could get abortions now, but they weren’t sure from where, and they believed the outspoken Gaylor would have the answers.

On August 12, 1970, Gaylor placed an ad in two local newspapers that included ZPG’s post office box and her personal phone number. The ad urged women to contact her if their doctors weren’t helping them obtain an abortion. In the weeks to follow, nearly 100 women contacted her. Playboy magazine later mentioned her as a resource for women who needed such help, which only ramped up the number of phone calls. (“Contrary to popular opinion,” she later wrote, “Playboy readers rarely went to bed.”)

Unfortunately, local hospitals were expensive, often had long waiting periods, and required getting through all sorts of bureaucratic red tape (including, in one hospital’s case, letters from two physicians confirming that the procedure was required to save the life of the woman). One provider in Madison, Dr. Alfred Kennan, opened up an outpatient clinic for women who needed abortions, but he was limited to seeing about 100 patients a week. It wasn’t long before Gaylor began referring her callers to sites in Mexico, where the total cost for the flight, procedure, and hotel room was still less than a trip to the expensive hospital next door. (Abortions were illegal in Mexico, and still are in many parts of the country, but bribes to police officers allowed some doctors to practice without problem.) Referrals to New York soon followed.

With the help of University of Wisconsin professor Robert West, Gaylor began Women’s Medical Fund, Inc. in 1972 as an outgrowth of the service she was already providing. It was incorporated as a non-profit in 1976 and is now said to be the country’s largest and oldest independent, all-volunteer abortion fund.

The Hyde Amendment, passed by Congress in 1976 and still in effect today, resulted in an even greater demand for Gaylor’s service. The legislation bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions, with exceptions made only for rape, incest, and to save the life of the woman. Because Medicaid funds are included in this ban, poor women are disproportionately affected and they frequently need financial help to go through with the procedure. According to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which WMF is a member of, “[t]here are 15 states that use their own money to pay for abortion care as part of their Medicaid programs, but there are 35 that do not.” Wisconsin is one of the 35.

WMF no longer advertises as it once did, but local clinics are aware of it and they frequently refer clients who need financial assistance to Gaylor’s organization. It’s not hard to see why: the non-profit has virtually no overhead costs and, as the group’s financial records show, more than 99% of its income goes right back to paying for abortion care.

If you called WMF today, using information available on some older websites, you might reach the offices of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), another organization Gaylor founded in the late 1970s. FFRF is a church/state separation watchdog, writing letters of complaint to those who appear to be violating the First Amendment and filing lawsuits against them if needed. Gaylor officially retired from the organization in 2004, though she still holds the title of “president emerita.” Staffers at FFRF screen the callers and only then give them Gaylor’s direct line — to the phone in her living room — offering her an additional layer of security. (Most clinics, after screening the women, give them Gaylor’s number directly.)

After 61 years of marriage, Gaylor’s husband Paul died of brain cancer in 2011 and she moved into the retirement home where she now lives in the summer of 2012. Gaylor herself suffers from macular degeneration and glaucoma, but her voice, while frail, is still strong enough to answer the calls. (Her daughter Annie Laurie Gaylor said about her in a 2004 tribute, “She may be losing her eyesight, but she is not losing her vision.”)

Gaylor’s only daughter inherited her mother’s activist streak. Annie Laurie Gaylor is one of the co-presidents of the FFRF, along with Dan Barker, and she’s also no stranger to anger from the opposition. At FFRF’s headquarters in Madison, they even have a system in place for dealing with all the hate-mail they receive: Serious threats go in one pile, angry letters go in another.

According to Annie Laurie, fighting for church/state separation is similar to fighting for abortion rights, but “they want to kill you more” when you do abortion work.

The elder Gaylor is used to that kind of hostility, too. When I asked how she responded to threats, her voice became a little stronger, a little more confident.

“I ignore them.”

Anne Nicol Gaylor and daughter Annie Laurie stand near the family tombstone (via Annie Laurie Gaylor)

Just as I’m leaving Gaylor’s apartment, with my computer packed up and my keys in hand, the phone rings. Gaylor answers it while instinctively picking up a pen and a form. She listens quietly for a few seconds while jotting down some basic information about the caller. Gaylor asks where she’s from. And how much the provider is charging. And if she’s visited the clinic for her first appointment. There’s an extended pause after that question, after which I hear Gaylor gently cut in: “You have to have that appointment before I can take your application, because at that point, they will do the ultrasound which will confirm exactly how far you are, and then they’ll be able to tell you exactly what the cost will be.”

The call lasts only two minutes before Gaylor hangs up the phone and smiles at me. “Ordinarily, they’re more interesting to listen to,” she jokes.

WMF won’t last — can’t last — much longer in its current form. Gaylor won’t always be around to answer the phone. But a contingency plan has already been drawn up. When the time comes, the group’s board of directors and additional volunteers will take over the phone calls and other menial tasks that Gaylor has been doing for decades now. They haven’t worked out all the logistics yet, but thankfully, they haven’t had to. They’re considering getting a dedicated cell phone that is assigned to volunteers during shifts or getting a phone number that goes straight to voicemail and having volunteers call the women back. For now, Gaylor is able to answer all the calls herself on a landline without leaving her home.

One of WMF’s board members, Nora Cusack, wrote to me that if abortion services were covered by health insurance providers or Medicaid the same way as other medical procedures, the phone might just stop ringing. Or at least not ring as much. That, too, would ease the succession problem.

Gaylor’s mission when she began WMF was to help women obtain legal abortions even if they couldn’t afford them. That mission hasn’t changed, but as she sits back down to wait for the next call, she reflects on the grander vision she has for the future: “It would be nice to not be needed.”

-Best wishes to the family of Anne Nicol Gaylor, a woman who did more for humanity than most in taking care of the needs of women and fighting religious bullies on their own ground! This is a sad time for all who respect the separation of church and state.

Friday Fallacy


Friday Fallacy 4-10-15

It’s Friday and you know what that means… It’s time once again for your #FridayFallacy!

As always, we will begin with an example to give you a chance to guess the fallacy, and then we’ll name it and explain how it works and how to counter it for the next time you come across it.

This week’s fallacy is visual! See the picture, then scroll down the the explanation.


This week’s fallacy is the Straw Man fallacy. This fallacy is committed when “a person simply ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position” (The Nizkor Project). It looks like this:

1. Person A has position X.
2. Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
3. Person B attacks position Y.
4. Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

Here’s an everyday example:

Bill and Ted are arguing about dinner plans:
Ted: “Let’s go out to dinner. I don’t want to cook tonight.”
Bill: “We just went out the other day. Do we have to go out every night?”
Ted: “That was last weekend, and I never said anything about going out every night.”

The easiest way to catch a straw-man fallacy is simply to listen very carefully for the exact argument being asserted. Sometimes it helps to restate it for the person and check in with them: “To make sure I understand your position, you are saying that ____. Is that right?” To counter one, just be frank and correct the misstatement, and make sure to offer that you believe your claim is not only accurate but reasonable. Sarcasm and beating around the bush tend not to work well to counter this fallacy, although they can be effective in the right situation. But, because it depends on the fallacious party marking an outrageous claim, you already have the high ground, and all you have to do is keep it by showing that what you’re saying is, in fact, reasonable.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s fallacy! Have a great weekend!

Thanks to our very own Alexa Blumenstock for this “fixed” version of the graphic:


Oh shit! Ya think!!??


John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN’s Change the List project. Follow him onTwitter, Facebook or Instagram. Email him at ctl@cnn.com. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)There seem to be two prerequisites for the modern U.S. presidency.

1. Being fabulously rich.

2. Successfully pretending you’re not.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz tried his hand at No. 2 last week as he announced his bid for the White House. With his back awkwardly turned to the TV cameras, and a drive-through-worker style microphone clipped to his ear, Cruz relayed a version of his life story, often in third person, to a student crowd at Liberty University in Virginia.

“Imagine another teenage boy being raised in Houston … experiencing challenges at home … heading off to school over 1,000 miles away from home in a place where he knew nobody. Where he was alone and scared. And his parents going through bankruptcy meant there was no financial support at home — so at the age of 17 he went to get two jobs to help pay his way through school. He took over $100,000 in school loans, loans I suspect a lot of y’all can relate to. Loans, that I’ll point out, I just paid off a few years ago.”

Poor Cruz.

All those loans.

Good thing he’s estimated to be worth $1.8 million to $3.5 million.

And he’s not the wealthiest person whose name has been thrown into the hat as a potential candidate for 2016, according to estimates compiled by Crowdpac, a nonpartisan website that aggregates stats about potential political candidates.

Crowdpac estimates Hillary Clinton’s net worth to be $21.5 million (more if you include Bill). Jeb Bush’s: $10 million. Even Elizabeth Warren, enemy of Wall Street, champion of populist financial-sector reform, is estimated to be worth $3.7 million to $10 million, according to CNN Money.

Of the 26 potential candidates identified by Crowdpac, only four — Joe Biden, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Mike Pence — are estimated to be worth less than $1 million.

With a net worth of $150,000, Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, is perhaps the middle-classiest of the bunch. But don’t worry, his campaign would have backing from the billionaire Koch brothers and Steve Forbes, according to The Washington Post. He’s also little-known and has basically no chance of winning the increasingly claustrophobic Republican primary.

(“Too many cooks,” anyone?)

Apart from Cruz, no one has officially declared for president, so the names of those who may run are still largely a matter of speculation. Still, these folks deserve examination. The richest potential contenders are Rick Snyder, a former venture capitalist (net worth: $200 million); Al Gore (also $200 million); and Carly Fiorina, a former tech executive (net worth: $80 million).

So, mostly millionaires.

And two almost-quarter-billionaires.

These folks may want to represent an America where median wealth is only $44,900. Meanwhile, the national median income is about $54,000 per year, and one in five children lives below the federal poverty line, which is about $24,000 annually for a family of four.

The gap between rich and poor in the United States has been growing since the 1970s — and it’swider than in almost any other industrialized country. (Iran and Nigeria are better.)

None of these would-be candidates can claim to represent that America.

None comes close.

When presidents were of modest means

It’s time for a middle-class president.

Or, at the very least, a middle-class presidential candidate.

It’s not impossible, and there would be important benefits.

First, we just have to look to the past to see that it can be done.

“The interesting thing about the (idea) of a middle-class president is that it’s actually relatively common in certain periods of American history,” said Jeffrey A. Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “If we define (the middle class) essentially as someone who does not have exorbitant wealth, or does not inherit exorbitant wealth … there’s a period from basically about the mid-19th century up until 1920 where the majority of presidents are what we could consider to be of modest means.”

You can think of the history of presidential wealth in three waves.

Wave one: Landholdings and slaves made the first presidents incredibly rich. George Washington, for example, is estimated to have been worth $525 million in today’s dollars, making him the second wealthiest president in U.S. history, after John F. Kennedy.

(No need to repeat that era.)

Wave two ushers in the rise of the powerful (and rich) political party. There are downsides to this, of course, but, according to Engel, it helped civil servant types — “professional presidents,” as he called them — successfully run for office without being loaded.

Think Lincoln. Or, later, and somewhat separately, Harry S. Truman, who grew up poor and refused to let this nation’s highest office make him rich, turning away money for speaking engagements and advertisements, and refusing to sit on corporate boards.

Engel said he’d traveled to Missouri to see the home Truman lived in after he left the White House, which was actually owned by his mother-in-law, he said. In the kitchen, near the breakfast table, “you look up and you see a water stain on the ceiling because no one had the money to fix the water stain on the ceiling,” he told me. “It’s hard to imagine George W. Bush doing that.”

Not since Truman has a president been worth less than $1 million, according to data compiled by 24/7 Wall Street, which is the basis for the historical figures I’m using.

Now we’re in Wave three: the era when you kinda need to be a millionaire.

Engel says we can thank the decline of powerful political parties; the rise of expensive, media-heavy campaigns; and campaign finance changes, enabled by court decisions, that allow essentially for unlimited donations to political campaigns, favoring the wealthy and connected.

Wealth is a prerequisite

“Wealth and influence has always been an asset,” Engel said. “In the last two generations, we have seen that wealth and influence are prerequisite to entry to politics in a fundamentally new way. … Over the last 30 years, and especially over the last five years or so, we’ve seen such an incredible skyrocketing of the cost of entry to politics that we’re simply not getting a good cross section of Americans even conceiving of the fact that they might run” for office.

There’s no reason to expect a middle-class president would automatically — by merit of his or her income alone — support policies that would benefit middle-class people.

FDR, for example, was among the richest presidents (net worth: $60 million), and also arguably the most pro-middle-class. His presidential terms, which saw the country through the Great Depression of the 1930s, resulted in the federal minimum wage and Social Security.

“We have (presidents) who are very, very wealthy who wind up being on the side of the poor,” Engel told me, “and we have people who grew up with remarkable poverty — Herbert Hoover is a good example — who end up being economically conservative.”

Still, a middle-class presidential candidate could help Americans re-engage with a political system that many see as hopelessly corrupted by money.

Recently, I asked Facebook about the idea of a middle-class president.

Many of you find the idea inconceivable.

Your reasons were telling.

“The only way we’ll get a Middle Class candidate … is if he wins Lottery,” wrote Bryan Booten.

“The problem with someone from the middle class running for president,” said Gwenith Acor, “is that in order to be a viable candidate you would have to sell your soul to the billionaires. …”

“There should be a middle class president,” wrote Chad Oliver. “No one in the government is representative of the people governed … There is no way a middle class person could become any elected official without selling his soul to the devil. It just takes too much money.”

Why wouldn’t you feel that way?

Interests aligned with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each spent more than $1 billion trying to elect these men as president in 2012. How could a middle-class person (much less a poor one) rally that much cash? Maybe it’s possible, with enough wealthy friends. But it’s less likely for a middle class person to be able to infiltrate this world of the super-wealthy.

The real meaning is in the symbolism, though.

A middle-class candidate also could have the effect of encouraging young people from all ends of the economic spectrum to see a future for themselves in politics.

I believe Engel when he says most people see politics as out of reach.

And that’s partly because of the money involved.

Think of the future world leaders we’re shunning simply because they aren’t rich.

Is that the most we expect from democracy?

The value of a symbol

I’ll stop complaining for now and end with a suggestion.

What if just one of the 2016 potential presidential candidates vowed to live as if he or she were a middle-class person during the campaign season and while in office.

This shouldn’t seem like a death sentence. It’s what most of us do.

This candidate could take a cue from the former President of Uruguay, José Mujica, who reportedly gave away 90% of his salary to charitable organizations — and lived in a farmhouse rather than a palace.

Or from Pope Francis, who drove a junker car and requested modest living quarters. Or from Truman, who shunned money associated with the presidency and had that water stain in his kitchen. (For this to work, this future president would have to give back some money, since the $400,000 presidential salary puts that person in the 1%.)

The candidates love to pretend they live in modern, middle-class America.

They don’t, but they could take real steps to learn what it’s like.

Uh, yeah man, I’ve been saying this for the past 15 years and NOW articles are hitting the main stream about how rich people can’t ever claim to know what a working person’s needs are? When your leaders are buying multiple residences and cars and paying cash for them, they have absolutely NO IDEA what it is like to have day to day bills and a mortgage to pay. When they hob nob with the other wealthy out of touch bastards that line their pockets with our money, they can never effectively govern in a way that creates pro-average citizen finance laws! The laws need to be set up to care fpr the core producers in the nation; the middle class!

Education needs to be socialized to level the playing field and encourage upward mobility and any social program for the poor needs to be centered on educating and finding them jobs. Subsidies are needed for child care to get people from the bottom to a livable rung on the ladder. Birth needs to be controlled to prevent people on assistance from having additional children that they cannot support. Some of these things may sound draconian, but it is pure and simple rote logic and is a must to return this country to a robust economy with rewards for all of it’s people and not just the 1%. Corporations and churches need to be forced to pay their fair share of taxes and a new foreign business model needs to be developed that includes stiff tariffs on goods coming in to the country. THIS is just the start, THEN we should be thinking about totally socializing medicine but still paying our health care workers well for being YOUR life savers! Lets see LaBron James perform CPR on you on your way to get a cardiac catheterization for a massive heart attack! Oh yeah, thats right, he’s not a nurse OR a doctor, but MAN he sure can play a child’s game to incredible perfection!

Thanks Patton, it really isn’t religion’s fault!


Washiqur Rahman: Another secular blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh

A relative of dead Bangladeshi blogger Washiqur Rahman reacts after seeing his body at Dhaka Medical College on March 30, 2015.

Story highlights

  • The 27-year-old Rahman falls victim to the same brazen act that killed Avijit Roy
  • The deaths have emboldened the movement, an activist says

(CNN)When American writer Avijit Roy was hacked to death on a Dhaka, Bangladesh, street in full view of horrified onlookers, blogger Washiqur Rahman doubled down.

Fundamentalists were choking free thought in his secular nation, he wrote. But they couldn’t silence it.

His friends warned him to be careful, to watch what he posted online. But Rahman dismissed those concerns, saying his Facebook profile page didn’t even bear his picture. They don’t even know what I look like, he told them.

On Monday, the 27-year-old Rahman fell victim to the same brazen act that killed Roy, hacked to death by two men with knives and meat cleavers just outside his house as he headed to work at a travel agency.

He was so maimed — with wounds to his head, face and neck — that police identified him through the voter identification card he was carrying.

American blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death in late February.


His death was the second time in five weeks that someone was killed in Dhaka for online posts critical of Islam — but they are hardly the only two who’ve paid a steep price.

In the last two years, several bloggers have died, either murdered or under mysterious circumstances.

“The despicable murder of Avijit Roy last month should have led authorities to step up protection measures for bloggers and others at risk. The killing of Washiqur Rahman today is another clear example of the Bangladeshi government’s utter failure to ensure the safety of those at risk,” said Abbas Faiz of Amnesty International.

“How many more bloggers will have to be attacked before action is taken?”

Mocking religion

As shocking as Rahman’s death was, the reaction from some quarters was equally disturbing.

On his Facebook page (for which he picked a custom URL that translates to “unbeliever”), Rahman had posted a picture with the hashtag #IamAvijit.

After his death, someone left a comment, “Now you are.”

Another wrote, “I felt sorry when I first learned of your death. But then I saw what you wrote and I am not.”

On his page, Rahman reposted a cartoon depicting Prophet Mohammed from the French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. He wished a happy birthday to author Taslima Nasreen, who was forced to flee Bangladesh due to death threats from fundamentalists. And he “liked” a picture of sausages wrapped in crescent rolls that someone had captioned, “Pigs in burqas.”

Posts threatening him were numerous.

“Get ready for the afterlife,” one person commented on one of his posts.

“See you in hell,” said another.

He used to write under the pseudonym “Stupid Man” on a blog but switched to posting on Facebook after 2011.

On Facebook, he is credited for a series, “Jaw-crushing answers to insulting comments of atheists.”

There, he posted questions that critics of Islam often raised and then answered them. But he paired the answers in such a way that they highlighted the contradiction within Islam.

For example, one question asked what proof was there that the Quran was the word of God. The answer, “Mohammed said in his own words that the Quran is the word of God. Since Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, his claims are true.”

He placed the question next to one that asked, “What is the proof that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah?”

The answer, “The Quran claims that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah. And since the Quran is God’s word, its claims must be true.”

Asif Mohiuddin, a blogger who himself was wounded by machete-wielding attackers in 2013 but survived, remembered Rahman as a great satirist.

“I named him the George Carlin of Bangladesh,” he told the International Humanist and Ethical Union. “He wanted with all his heart, a true secular country, where everyone can practice their freedom.”

Few arrests

The irony is that the people who killed Rahman weren’t even familiar with his writings; they were simply following orders, police said.

Of the three involved in the Monday morning attack, two were quickly caught by bystanders.

In confessions to police, the pair — both students at Islamic schools — said they didn’t know what a blog was, nor had they seen Rahman’s writing.

They said they were acting on orders from another person who told them killing Rahman was a religious duty, Police Commissioner Biplob Kumar Sarkar told reporters.

The third person is still to be apprehended.

That appears to be par for the course in the killings of bloggers in Bangladesh.

The only person arrested in the killing of Roy, the U.S. blogger, is Farabi Shafiur Rahman, who had called for his death in Facebook posts.

There has been no conviction in the January 2013 attack on Mohiuddin.

And no convictions in yet another case — the hacking death of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider, also in 2013.

“The Bangladeshi government must urgently establish accountability in this murder case and others,” the Committee to Project Journalists said after Rahman’s death. “Otherwise the rest of the country’s bloggers, commentators and journalists covering sensitive topics remain at grave risk of being attacked as well.”

Marching on

Bloggers, unlike political parties, aren’t an organized force — and that makes them an easy target for radicals, said Imran Sarker, who heads the Blogger and Online Activists Network in Bangladesh.

“They want peace, they talk of humanity. If you strike them with stones, they don’t strike back. They try to reach you with flowers,” he said. “So, if you want to sow fear and stifle progressive thought, they are easy to pick on.”

But the deaths — of Rahman, of Roy, of Haider — have emboldened the movement, rather than chill them into silence.

“No one is cowering in their homes because this is happening. Because this has been happening regularly for a long time,” he said. “We want to take the society forward. We know we have a lot left to accomplish.”



The biggest problem that we as simple humans have now is mainstream media, that which distorts and sensationalizes any story to build it up to superhuman impossible expectations! These stories appear on CNN, Fox, Al Jazeera, and many of the most vaunted independent sources of the present day.

The Chapel Hill, NC story featured the horrible “Atheist” who cold-bloodedly murdered 3 Muslim students. The ISIS stories reign in our news as the need for the communities of non-muslims to denounce things that are done in fanatic adherence to a religion that most Muslims know nothing of! President Obama said it best when he referenced the horrors carried out by Christians during the Crusades! This shit actually happened on the Catholic watch and was endorsed as the word of God!

We need to get away from totally fucking with the people of Islam in America and seeing as these people are only about 5-10% of the population of the cities of the U.S and are against the shit that ISIS peddles. You WILL NOT fuck with the students in my area, you WILL NOT fuck with the businesses in my area because the loyal Americans that you persecute are of the religion of Islam! Leave them alone and I will leave YOU alone! Ibrahim is not your enemy and his appearance IS NOT a reason for you to hate him! Expand your fucking mind and get your head out of your ass!

In the past, I have been more vocal, but I admit the ability to learn and advance! I know peaceful Muslims and I dislike those who fuck over their peaceful message. Christians have fucked people over as well, but now the same bullshit is being applied to the religion of Islam. I am a person who dislikes all religion, but I, as a skeptic and atheist, must ask these people to come into my realm and agree to a discourse on religion and other things. I can only hope that the religious take from my talks a fact based science laden proof-mongering refutation that blows their religious mythology out of the water for the long haul. No religion stands up to the truth of facts and it never will. No religious person can produce one single fact that corroborates their god or anything else.

In conclusion, we find so many things that debunk or disprove the supernatural, and meet with so many people that claim false intelligence to wild claims, yet fall short as anyone should when supposing unsubstantiated clams. Love me some Kinesiology, some Chakra re alignment, some crystal healing, some acupuncture healing.

Most of this shit is a load of crap and needs to be thrown into the bin of scientific shit!!

More evil seditious shit!


Copenhagen, Denmark (CNN)After a frantic manhunt involving “all the country’s police forces,” Danish police say they’ve killed the man they believe is responsible for a pair of possible terrorist attacks that left two people dead.

“As a nation, we have experienced a series of hours we will never forget,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Sunday.

“We have tasted the ugly taste of fear and powerlessness that terror would like to create. But we have also, as a society, answered back.”

The carnage began Saturday afternoon, when a gunman stormed a Copenhagen cafe where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks — known for his controversial depictions of the Prophet Mohammed — was attending a free speech forum.

The gunman killed a 55-year-old man at the cafe and wounded three officers before fleeing, police said. The victim has not been identified.

About 10 hours later, someone approached two officers near a Copenhagen synagogue and started shooting, police said.

Just behind the synagogue, a young girl was celebrating her confirmation with a party of about 80 people, the Jewish Society of Denmark said.

The two officers were wounded and survived. But 37-year-old Dan Uzan, who was standing at the gate providing security for the party, was shot and killed, the Jewish Society said.

“The Jewish Society is in shock about the attack, but everyone’s thoughts are first and foremost with Dan’s family and friends, and with the wounded police officers and their families,” the Jewish Society said.

How police found the suspect

Authorities pieced together surveillance images from across the capital and tracked the suspect’s movements, Copenhagen police investigator Jorgen Skov said.

Copenhagen police released this photo of a man in connection with Saturday's terror attack.

The footage shows the man going from the scene of a shooting to where he apparently abandoned a vehicle, and to a taxi cab.

“By interviewing the taxi driver, we got the address where he dropped off the person,” Skov said. “We have been keeping that address under observation.”

He said when officers tried to make contact with the suspect at the Copenhagen apartment on Sunday, the suspect opened fire. Police fired back, killing the gunman.

No officers were injured.

While the identity of the shooter was not released, Islamist extremists have made documented threats against Vilks. They’ve even placed him on a “wanted” poster in an al Qaeda magazine.

Free speech event turns fatal

The forum attended by Vilks at the cafe was interrupted by the sounds of dozens of gunshots.

New audio: Shots interrupt forum

New audio: Shots interrupt forum01:03

“Everybody, of course, panicked in the room and tried to run,” professor and satire researcher Dennis Meyhoff Brink said. “We were just hiding … and hoping for the best.”

Brink said he heard about 30 shots around 3:30 p.m. Saturday. He said he also heard someone yelling in a foreign language.

The attacker made it just inside the building but apparently got no farther, said Helle Merete Brix, a journalist and founder of the Lars Vilks Committee. The group supports the cartoonist, whose portrayals of the Prophet Mohammed angered many in the Muslim world.

Bodyguards returned fire, Copenhagen police said, but the gunman managed to flee.

“We are investigating this as a terror attack,” Skov said.

Police also said they are treating the synagogue attack “as a possible terror act, but of course we can’t say for sure.”

Cartoon of Mohammed with dog’s body

Vilks became a target after his 2007 cartoon depicting Mohammed with the body of a dog — an animal that conservative Muslims consider unclean.

In a CNN interview later that year from his home in rural Sweden, Vilks said the drawing was calculated to elicit a reaction.

Lars Vilks says his controversial cartoon was calculated to elicit a reaction.

“It should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way,” he said at the time. “If you insult one (religion), then you should insult the other ones.”

Like Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier — who was killed in the attack on that magazine’s Paris offices last month — Vilks was one of nine faces on a “Most Wanted” graphic published by al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine for “crimes against Islam.”

Controversial cartoonist on al Qaeda 'Most Wanted' list

Controversial cartoonist on al Qaeda ‘Most Wanted’ list 03:03

Others include a pair of Danish journalists who published 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper; Florida pastor Terry Jones, who burned a Quran; and “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie.

Why Islam forbids images of Mohammed

Because of that, Brix said, “there’s no doubt” the Copenhagen event was targeted because of Vilks, who has “not been able to live a normal life” for years, the Lars Vilks Committee said.

But the Prime Minister stressed that the challenges Denmark now faces were not spawned by a religion at large.

“This is not a battle between Islam and the West, and it is not a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims, but a battle between the values of freedom for the individual and a dark ideology.”

Je Suis Charlie.


Charlie Hebdo shooting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charlie Hebdo shooting

Police officers, emergency vehicles, and journalists at the scene two hours after the shooting
Location 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert, 11th arrondissement of Paris, France[1]
Coordinates 48.85925°N 2.37025°ECoordinates: 48.85925°N 2.37025°E
Date 7 January 2015 11:30 CET (UTC+01:00)
Target Charlie Hebdo employees
Attack type
Mass shooting, terrorism
AK-47 assault rifle variant
Škorpion vz. 61 submachine guns
Grenade or rocket launcher
Tokarev TT pistols[2]
Pump action shotgun[3]
Deaths 12
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrators Al-Qaeda in Yemen[4]
Assailants Chérif and Saïd Kouachi
On the morning of 7 January 2015, at about 11:30 local time, two masked gunmen armed with assault rifles and other weapons forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. They fired up to 50 shots, killing 11 people and injuring 11 others, and shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is [the] greatest”) during their attack. They also killed a French National Police officer shortly after. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, which took responsibility for the attack. Five others were killed and another eleven were wounded in related shootings that followed in the Île-de-France region.

France raised Vigipirate (its terror alert) to its highest level, and deployed soldiers in Île-de-France and Picardy. A massive manhunt led on 9 January to the discovery of the suspects, brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, who exchanged fire with police. The brothers took hostages at a signage company in Dammartin-en-Goële, and were gunned down when they emerged firing from the building.

On 11 January, about 2 million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in Paris for a rally of national unity, and 3.7 million people joined demonstrations across France. The phrase Je suis Charlie (French for “I am Charlie”) was a common slogan of support at the rallies and in social media. The remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo continued publication, and the following issue sold out seven million copies in six languages, in contrast to its typical French-only run of 30–60,000.

3 November 2011 cover of Charlie Hebdo, renamed Charia Hebdo (fr) (Sharia Hebdo). The caption reads “100 lashes if you don’t die laughing”.

The former building of Charlie Hebdo after it was set on fire in 2011
Charlie Hebdo (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁli ɛbdo]; French for Weekly Charlie) is a satirical weekly newspaper in France that features cartoons, reports, polemics, and jokes. The publication is irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, is strongly secularist, antireligious[5] and left-wing, and publishes articles that mock the far right, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Israel, politics, culture, and various other groups as local and world news unfolds. The magazine was published from 1969 to 1981, and again from 1992 on.[6]

Charlie Hebdo has a history of attracting controversy. In 2006, Islamic organisations under French hate speech laws unsuccessfully sued over the newspaper’s re-publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of Muhammad, the founder of Islam.[7][8][9] The cover of a 2011 issue retitled Charia Hebdo (fr) (French for Sharia Weekly), featured a cartoon of Muhammad, whose depiction is forbidden in some interpretations of Islam.[10] The newspaper’s office was fire-bombed and its website hacked.[11][12] In 2012, the newspaper published a series of satirical cartoons of Muhammad, including nude caricatures;[13][14] this came days after a series of violent attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East, purportedly in response to the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, prompting the French government to close embassies, consulates, cultural centres, and international schools in about 20 Muslim countries.[15] Riot police surrounded the newspaper’s offices to protect it against possible attacks.[14]

Cartoonist Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, murdered in the attack on the magazine, was the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo from 2009.[17] Two years before the attack he stated, “We have to carry on until Islam has been rendered as banal as Catholicism.”[18] In 2013, al-Qaeda added him to its most wanted list, along with three Jyllands-Posten staff members: Kurt Westergaard, Carsten Juste, and Flemming Rose.

Numerous violent plots related to the Jyllands-Posten cartoons were discovered, primarily targeting cartoonist Westergaard, editor Rose, and the property or employees of Jyllands-Posten and other newspapers that printed the cartoons.[a] Westergaard was the subject of several attacks and planned attacks, and lives under police protection. On 1 January 2010, police used guns to stop a would-be assassin in his home, who was sentenced to nine years in prison. In 2010, three men based in Norway were arrested on suspicion of planning a terror attack against Jyllands-Posten or Kurt Westergaard; two of them were convicted. In the United States, David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana were convicted in 2013 of planning terrorism against Jyllands-Posten.

Laïcité and blasphemy
See also: Laïcité and Islam and blasphemy
In France, the principle of laïcité – the separation of church and state – was enshrined in the 1905 law on the Separation of the Churches and the State. Under its terms, people are free to practise the religion of their choice in the private sphere, but are required to keep religion out of the public sphere. Authors, humorists, cartoonists, and individuals have the right to satirise people, public actors, and religions, a right which is balanced by defamation laws. These rights and legal mechanisms were designed and used to protect freedom of speech from local powers, among which was the then powerful Catholic Church in France.

Though images of Muhammad are not explicitly banned by the Quran itself, prominent Islamic views have long opposed human images, especially those of prophets. Such views have gained ground among militant Islamic groups. Accordingly, some Muslims take the view that the satire of Islam, of religious representatives, and—above all—of Muslim prophets is forbidden blasphemy and that it can even be punished by death.

According to the BBC, France has seen “the apparent desire of some younger, often disaffected children or grandchildren of immigrant families not to conform to western, liberal lifestyles – including traditions of religious tolerance and free speech”.

Charlie Hebdo headquarters

The Charlie Hebdo building, Rue Serpollet (fr)
Before the shooting, the two armed and hooded men burst into number 6 Rue Nicolas-Appert, the address of Charlie Hebdo ’​s archives. The gunmen shouted, “Is this Charlie Hebdo?”, and after realizing their mistake left for the magazine’s headquarters at number 10 Rue Nicolas-Appert.[40] There they encountered cartoonist Corinne “Coco” Rey outside. She reported the men spoke perfect French and using threats forced her to key in the passcode to open the door.

The armed men sprayed the lobby with gunfire immediately upon entering. The first victim was maintenance worker Frédéric Boisseau, who was killed as he sat at the reception desk.The gunmen forced Rey at gunpoint to lead them to a second-floor office, where 15 staff members were having an editorial meeting, Charlie Hebdo ’​s first news conference of the year. Reporter Laurent Léger said they were interrupted by what they thought was the sound of a firecracker—the gunfire from the lobby—and recalled, “We still thought it was a joke. The atmosphere was still joyous.”

The gunmen burst into the meeting room and called out Charb’s name to target him before opening fire. The shooting lasted five to ten minutes. The gunmen aimed at the journalists’ heads and killed them execution-style. During the gunfire, Rey survived uninjured by hiding under a desk, from where she witnessed the murders of Wolinksi and Cabu. Léger also survived by hiding under a desk as the gunmen entered. Other witnesses reported that the gunmen identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat, who wrote a column in Charlie Hebdo, was killed.[50] Crime reporter Sigolène Vinson survived; one of the shooters aimed at her but spared her, saying “I’m not killing you because you are a woman” and telling her to read the Quran. She said he left shouting, “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!”( which I assumed meant,” Muhammed is a fucking child rapist.”)

An authenticated video surfaced on the Internet that shows two gunmen and a police officer, Ahmed Merabet, who is wounded and lying on a sidewalk after an exchange of gunfire. This took place near the corner of Boulevard Richard-Lenoir and Rue Moufle (fr), 180 metres (590 ft) east of the main crime scene. One of the murderers ran towards the policeman and shouted, “Did you want to kill me?” The policeman answered, “No, it’s good, chief”, and raised his hand toward the gunman, who then gave the policeman a fatal shot to the head at close range. Like the killers, Merabet was of Algerian descent.

Sam Kiley, of Sky News, concluded from the video that the two gunmen were “military professionals” who likely had “combat experience”, saying that the gunmen were exercising infantry tactics such as moving in “mutual support” and were firing aimed, single-round shots at the police officer. He also stated that they were using military gestures.

The gunmen then left the scene, shouting (according to witnesses) “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad, (the child rapist). We have killed Charlie Hebdo!” They escaped in a getaway car, and drove to Porte de Pantin, hijacking another car on the way at the corner of Rue de Meaux and Passage de la Brie, forcing its driver out. As they drove away, they ran over a pedestrian and shot at responding police officers.

It was initially believed that there were three suspects. One identified suspect turned himself in at a Charleville-Mézières police station. Seven of the Kouachi brothers’ friends and family were taken into custody. Jihadist flags and Molotov cocktails were found in an abandoned getaway car, a black Citroën C3.

Charlie Hebdo had attracted attention for its controversial depictions of Muhammad. Hatred for Charlie Hebdo ’​s cartoons, which made jokes about Islamic leaders as well as Muhammad,(piece of shit rapist), is considered to be the principal motive for the massacre. Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, suggested that the motive of the attackers was “absolutely clear : trying to shut down a media organisation that lampooned the Prophet Muhammad”( a fucking known child rapist).

In March 2013, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, commonly known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP-cowardly deluded cocksuckers), released a hit list in an edition of their English-language magazine Inspire. The list included Stéphane Charbonnier and others whom AQAP accused of insulting Islam. On 9 January, AQAP claimed responsibility for the attack in a speech from AQAP’s top Shariah cleric Harith bin Ghazi al-Nadhari, citing the motive as “revenge for the honor” of Muhammad, ( the child rapist).

Frédéric Boisseau, 42, building maintenance worker for Sodexo, killed in the lobby
Franck Brinsolaro, 49, Protection Service police officer assigned as a bodyguard for Charb
Cabu (Jean Cabut), 76, cartoonist
Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist of Jewish religion.[69][70] The only woman killed in the shooting.
Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), 47, cartoonist, columnist, and editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo
Philippe Honoré, 74, cartoonist
Bernard Maris, 68, economist, editor, and columnist
Ahmed Merabet, 42, a Muslim police officer of Algerian descent, shot in the head as he lay wounded on the ground outside.
Mustapha Ourrad (fr), 60, copy editor of Algerian descent
Michel Renaud, 69, due to guest-edit an upcoming issue of Charlie Hebdo
Tignous (Bernard Verlhac), 57, cartoonist]
Georges Wolinski, 80, cartoonist, born in Tunisia of Jewish descent
The attacks are the deadliest act of terrorism in France since the 28 people killed in the 1961 Vitry-Le-François train bombing by the Organisation de l’armée secrète (OAS), a French dissident paramilitary organisation opposed to the independence of Algeria during the Algerian War (1954–62).

”Charlie Hebdo” shooting victims
Simon Fieschi, 31, webmaster—shot in the shoulder; shot in the spine and a lung perforated. He was in an induced coma after surgery for eight days.[82]
Philippe Lançon, journalist—shot in the face and in critical condition
Fabrice Nicolino, 59, journalist—shot in the leg
Laurent Sourisseau, 48, cartoonist—shot in the shoulder
Unidentified police officers
Non-wounded and absent[edit]
Several people at the meeting were unharmed, including book designer Gérard Gaillard, who was a guest, and staff members, Sigolène Vinson (fr), Laurent Léger (fr) and Éric Portheault.

The cartoonist Coco was coerced into letting the murderers into the building and was then unharmed. Several other staff members were not in the building at the time of the shooting, including medical columnist Patrick Pelloux and lead cartoonists Rénald “Luz” Luzier, Catherine Meurisse (fr), historian Jean-Baptiste Thoret (fr), who were late for work, cartoonist Willem, who never attends, and editor-in-chief Gérard Biard (fr) and journalist Zineb El Rhazoui (fr) who were on holiday. The journalist Antonio Fischetti (fr), who was at a funeral, humorist and columnist Mathieu Madénian.


It has been suggested that this article be split into a new article titled Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, accessible from a disambiguation page. (January 2015)
Chérif and Saïd Kouachi
Chérif and Saïd Kouachi

Chérif Kouachi (left) and Saïd Kouachi (right)
Born Chérif: 29 November 1982
Saïd: 7 September 1980;
10th ARR, Paris, France
Died 9 January 2015 (aged 32 and 34)
Dammartin-en-Goële, France
Cause of death
Gunshot wound
Nationality French
Motive Jihadism[90][91]
Date 7–9 January 2015
Location(s) Charlie Hebdo offices
Target(s) Charlie Hebdo staff
Killed 12
Injured 11
AK-47 variant assault rifles
Škorpion vz. 61 submachine guns
Pump action shotgun
Grenade or rocket launcher
Tokarev TT pistols
Police quickly identified brothers Saïd Kouachi (French pronunciation: ​[sa.id kwa.ʃi]; 7 September 1980 – 9 January 2015) and Chérif Kouachi ([ʃe.ʁif]; 29 November 1982 – 9 January 2015) as the main suspects.[c] French citizens born in Paris to Algerian immigrants, the brothers were orphaned at a young age after their mother’s apparent suicide and placed in a foster home in Rennes.[92] After two years, they were moved to an orphanage in Corrèze in 1994, along with a younger brother and an older sister.[97][98] The brothers moved to Paris around the year 2000.[99]

Chérif, also known as Abu Issen, was part of the filière des Buttes-Chaumont (fr) (named after the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont where they met and performed military-style training exercises); this group sent would-be jihadists to fight for al-Qaeda in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.[100][101] He was arrested at age 22 in January 2005 when he and another man were about to leave for Bashar al-Assad’s Syria – at the time a gateway for jihadists wishing to fight U.S. troops in Iraq.[102] He went to Fleury-Mérogis Prison, where he met Amedy Coulibaly.[103] In prison, they found a mentor, Djamel Beghal, who had been sentenced to 10 years in prison in France in 2001 for his part in a plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Paris.[102] Beghal had once been a regular worshipper at Finsbury Park Mosque in London and a disciple of the radical preachers Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada.

Upon leaving prison, Chérif Kouachi married and got a job in a fish market on the outskirts of Paris. He became a student of Farid Benyettou, a radical Muslim preacher at the Addawa Mosque in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. Kouachi wanted to attack Jewish targets in France, but Benyettou told him that France, unlike Iraq, was not “a land of jihad”.

In 2008, Chérif was convicted of terrorism and sentenced to three years in prison, with 18 months suspended, for having assisted in sending fighters to militant Islamist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s group in Iraq, and for being part of a group that solicited young French Muslims to fight with Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.[92] He said outrage at the torture of inmates by the U.S. Army at Baghdad Central Prison in Abu Ghraib inspired him to help Iraq’s insurgency.

French judicial documents said Amedy Coulibaly and Chérif Kouachi traveled with their wives in 2010 to central France to visit Djamel Beghal. In a 2010 police interview, Coulibaly identified Chérif as a friend he had met in prison and said they saw each other frequently. In 2010, the Kouachi brothers were named in connection with a plot to break out from jail another Islamist, Smaïn Aït Ali Belkacem. For lack of evidence, they were not prosecuted. Belkacem was one of those responsible for the 1995 Paris Métro and RER bombings that killed eight people.

From 2009 to 2010, Saïd Kouachi visited Yemen on a student visa to study at the San’a Institute for the Arabic Language. There, according to a Yemeni reporter who interviewed Saïd, he met and befriended Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the perpetrator of the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 later in 2009. The two shared an apartment for “one or two weeks”.

In 2011, Saïd returned to the country for a number of months and trained with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants.According to a senior Yemeni intelligence source, he met al Qaeda preacher Anwar al-Awlaki in the southern province of Shabwa.[111] Chérif Kouachi told BFM TV that he had been funded by a network loyal to Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in 2011 in Yemen. According to U.S. officials, the U.S. provided France with intelligence in 2011 showing the brothers received training in Yemen. French authorities subsequently began monitoring them, but the surveillance came to an end in the spring of 2014. In the time preceding the Charlie Hebdo attack, Saïd had been living with his wife and children in a block of flats in Reims. Neighbours had described him as solitary.

The weapons used in the attack were supplied via the Brussels underworld. According to the Belgian press, a criminal sold Amedy Coulibaly the rocket-propelled grenade launcher and Kalashnikov assault rifles that Chérif and Saïd Kouachi used at the Charlie Hebdo offices.

Suspected Charlie Hebdo attack driver
The police initially identified the 18-year-old brother-in-law of Chérif Kouachi, a student French Muslim of North African descent and unknown nationality, as a third suspect in the shooting, accused of driving the getaway car. He was believed to have been living in Charleville-Mézières, about 200 km northeast of Paris near the border with Belgium.[115] He turned himself in at a Charleville-Mézières police station early in the morning on 8 January 2015.[115] The man said he was in class at the time of the shooting, and that he rarely saw Chérif Kouachi.[116] Many of his classmates said that he was at school in Charleville-Mézières during the attack.[117] After holding him for about 50 hours, police said that he was not being charged at that time.[118]

After the attack
A massive manhunt began immediately after the attack. One suspect left his ID card in an abandoned getaway car. Police officers searched apartments in the Île-de-France region, in Strasbourg and in Reims.

Police detained several people during the manhunt for the two main suspects. A third suspect voluntarily reported to a police station after hearing he was wanted, and was not charged. Police described the assailants as “armed and dangerous”. France raised its terror alert to its highest level and deployed soldiers in Île-de-France and Picardy.

At 10:30 CET on 8 January, the day following the attack, the two primary suspects were spotted in Aisne, north-east of Paris. Armed security forces, including the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) and the Force d’intervention de la police nationale (FIPN), were deployed to the department to search for the suspects.

Later that day, the police search concentrated on the Picardy region, particularly the area around Villers-Cotterêts and the village of Longpont, after the suspects robbed a petrol station near Villers-Cotterêts,[124] then reportedly abandoned their car before hiding in a forest near Longpont.[125] Searches continued into the surrounding Forêt de Retz (130 km2), one of the largest forests of France.[126]

The manhunt continued with the discovery of the two fugitive suspects early in the morning of 9 January. The Kouachis had hijacked a Peugeot 206 near the town of Crépy-en-Valois. They were chased by police cars for approximately 27 kilometres south down the N2 trunk road. At some point they abandoned their vehicle and an exchange of gunfire between pursuing police and the brothers took place near the commune of Dammartin-en-Goële, 35 kilometres (22 mi) northeast of Paris. Several blasts went off as well and Saïd Kouachi sustained a minor neck wound. Several others may have been injured as well but no one was killed in the gunfire. The suspects were not apprehended and escaped on foot.

Dammartin-en-Goële hostage crisis

Intervention of the GIGN at Dammartin-en-Goële on 9 January
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dammartin-en-Goële crisis.
At around 9:30 a.m., the Kouachi brothers fled into the office of Création Tendance Découverte, a signage production company on an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goële. Inside the building were owner Michel Catalano and a male employee, 26-year-old graphics designer Lilian Lepère. Catalano sent Lepère to hide in the refectory and remained in his office himself. Not long after, a salesman named Didier went to the printworks on business. Catalano came out with Chérif Kouachi who introduced himself as a police officer. They shook hands and Kouachi told Didier, “Leave. We don’t kill civilians anyhow.” These words were what caused Didier to guess that Kouachi was a terrorist and he alerted the police.

The Kouachi brothers remained inside and a lengthy standoff began. Catalano re-entered the building and closed the door after Didier had left. The brothers were not aggressive towards Catalano, who stated, “I didn’t get the impression they were going to harm me.” He made coffee for them and helped bandage the neck wound that Saïd Kouachi had sustained during the earlier gunfire. Catalano was allowed to leave after an hour. Catalano swore three times to the terrorists that he was alone and did not reveal Lepère’s presence. The Kouachi brothers were never aware of him being there. Lepère hid inside a cardboard box and sent the police text messages for around three hours during the siege, providing them with “tactical elements such as [the brothers’] location inside the premises”.

Given the proximity (10 km) of the siege to Charles de Gaulle Airport, two of the airport’s runways were closed. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for a police operation to neutralise the perpetrators. However, an Interior Ministry spokesman announced that the Ministry wished first to “establish a dialogue” with the suspects. Officials tried to establish contact with the suspects to negotiate the safe evacuation of a school 500 m from the siege. The Kouachi brothers did not respond to attempts at communication by the French authorities.

The siege lasted for eight to nine hours, and at around 4:30 p.m. there were at least three explosions near the building. At around 5:00 p.m., a police team landed on the roof of the building and a helicopter landed nearby. Before police could reach them, the pair ran out of the building and opened fire on police. The brothers had stated a desire to die as martyrs[136] and the siege came to an end when both Kouachi brothers were gunned down. Lilian Lepère was rescued unharmed. A cache of weapons, including Molotov cocktails and a rocket launcher, was found in the area.


14 January 2015 cover of Charlie Hebdo in the same style as 3 November 2011 one. Muhammad holds a sign saying Je suis Charlie and the caption reads “All is forgiven”.
Related events on 7–9 January
Main article: 2015 Île-de-France attacks § Attacks
See also: Charlie Hebdo issue No. 1178
The remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo continued normal weekly publication, and the following issue sold out seven million copies in six languages, in contrast to its typical print run of 60,000 copies (sold 30,000 to 35,000).The cover depicts Muhammad holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign, and is captioned; “All is forgiven”. The “survivors’ issue” of Charlie Hebdo was also to be sold outside France.The Digital Innovation Press Fund donated €250,000 to support the magazine, matching a donation by the French Press and Pluralism Fund. The Guardian Media Group pledged a separate donation of £100,000 to the same cause.

On the night of 8 January, police commissioner Helric Fredou, who had been investigating the attack, committed suicide in his office in Limoges shortly after meeting with the family of one of the victims, while he was preparing his report. He was said to have been experiencing depression and burnout.[145]

In the week after the shooting, 54 anti-Muslim incidents were reported in France. These included 21 reports of shootings and grenade throwing at mosques and other Islamic centers and 33 cases of threats and insults.[d]


Alert status in French regions on 8 January 2015
– High probability of threat (threat level 3)
– Definite threat (threat level 4)
Following the attack, France raised Vigipirate to its highest level: terror alert and deployed soldiers in Paris to the public transport system, media offices, places of worship and the Eiffel Tower. The British Foreign Office warned its citizens about travelling to Paris.The New York City Police Department ordered extra security measures to the offices of the Consulate General of France in New York in Manhattan’s Upper East Side as well as the Lycée Français de New York, which was deemed a possible target due to the proliferation of attacks in France as well as the level of hatred of the United States within the extremist community. In Denmark, which was the centre of a controversy over cartoons of Muhammad in 2005, security was increased at all media outlets.

Hours after the shooting, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz said that Spain’s anti-terrorist security level had been upgraded, and that the country was sharing information with France in relation to the attacks. Spain increased security around public places such as railway stations and increased the police presence on streets throughout the country’s cities.

The British Transport Police confirmed on 8 January that they would establish new armed patrols in and around St Pancras International railway station in London, following reports that the suspects were moving north towards Eurostar stations. They confirmed that the extra patrols were for the reassurance of the public and to maintain visibility and that there were no credible reports yet of the suspects heading towards St Pancras.

In Belgium, the staff of P-Magazine were given police protection, although there were no specific threats. P-Magazine had previously published a cartoon of Muhammad drawn by the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

7 January

For more details on this topic, see Je suis Charlie.
On the evening of the day of the attack, demonstrations against the shootings were held at the Place de la République in Paris[ and in other cities including Toulouse, Nice, Lyon, Marseille and Rennes. These gatherings led to 8 January being declared an official day of mourning by President François Hollande.

The phrase Je suis Charlie (French for “I am Charlie”) has come to be a common worldwide sign of solidarity against the attacks. Many demonstrators used the slogan to express solidarity with the magazine. It appeared on printed and hand-made placards, and was displayed on mobile phones at vigils, and on many websites, particularly media sites such as Le Monde. The hashtag #jesuischarlie quickly trended at the top of Twitter hashtags worldwide following the attack. The United States Embassy in Paris changed its Twitter profile picture to the “Je suis Charlie” placard.

Not long after the attack, it is estimated that around 35,000 people gathered in Paris holding “Je suis Charlie” signs. 15,000 people also gathered in Lyon and Rennes. 10,000 people gathered in Nice and Toulouse; 7,000 in Marseille; and 5,000 each in Nantes, Grenoble and Bordeaux. Thousands also gathered in Nantes at the Place Royale. More than 100,000 people in total gathered within France to partake in these demonstrations the evening of 7 January.

Protests in France

The “I am Charlie” slogan became an endorsement of freedom of speech and press

Demonstrators gather at the Place de la République in Paris on the night of the attack

Memorial for Ahmed Merabet

Demonstrators in Bordeaux

Tribute to Charlie Hebdo in Strasbourg

Tributes to the victims in Toulouse
Similar demonstrations and candle vigils spread to other cities outside of France as well, including Amsterdam,[166] Brussels, Barcelona,[167] Ljubljana,[168] Berlin, Copenhagen, London and Washington, D.C.[169] Around 2,000 demonstrators gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square and sang La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.[170][171] In Brussels, two vigils have been held thus far, one immediately at the city’s French consulate and a second one at Place du Luxembourg. Many flags around the city were at half-mast on 8 January.[172] In Luxembourg, a demonstration was held in the Place de la Constitution.[173]

On the other side of the Atlantic, a crowd gathered on the same evening, 7 January, at Union Square in Manhattan, New York City. French ambassador to the United Nations François Delattre was present; the crowd lit candles, held signs, and sang the French national anthem.[174] Several hundred people also showed up outside of the French consulate in San Francisco with “Je suis Charlie” signs to show their solidarity.[175] In downtown Seattle, another vigil was held where people gathered around a French flag laid out with candles lit around it. They prayed for the victims and held “Je suis Charlie” signs.[176] Further south in Argentina, a large demonstration was held to denounce the attacks and show support for the victims outside the French embassy in the Buenos Aires.[177]

More vigils and gatherings were held in Canada to show support to France and condemn terrorism. Many cities had notable “Je suis Charlie” gatherings, including Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.[178] In Calgary, there was a strong anti-terrorism sentiment. “We’re against terrorism and want to show them that they won’t win the battle. It’s horrible everything that happened, but they won’t win,” commented one demonstrator. “It’s not only against the French journalists or the French people, it’s against freedom – everyone, all over the world, is concerned at what’s happening.”[179] In Montreal, despite a temperature of −21 °C (−6 °F), over 1,000 people gathered chanting “Liberty!” and “Charlie!” outside of the city’s French Consulate. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre was among the gatherers and proclaimed, “Today, we are all French!” He confirmed the city’s full support for the people of France and called for strong support regarding freedom, stating that “We have a duty to protect our freedom of expression. We have the right to say what we have to say.”[180][181]

8 January[edit]
By 8 January, the vigils had also spread to Australia. Gatherings had formed in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, with thousands of people holding up “Je suis Charlie” signs. In Sydney, people gathered at Martin Place – the location of a siege less than a month earlier –and in Hyde Park dressed in white clothing as a form of respect; flags were at half-mast at the city’s French consulate where bouquets of flowers had been left by mourners.[182] A vigil was held at Federation Square in Melbourne with an emphasis on togetherness. The gathering in Perth was described by French consul Patrick Kedemos as “a spontaneous, grass roots event”. He added, “We are far away but our hearts today [are] with our families and friends in France. It [was] an attack on the liberty of expression, journalists that were prominent in France, and at the same time it’s an attack, or a perceived attack on our culture.”[183]

In the evening of 8 January over a 100 demonstrations were held from 18:00 in the Netherlands at the time of the silent march in Paris, after the mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht and later more mayors called to do so. Many Dutch government members joined the demonstrations.[184][185]

Protests around the world

Brisbane, Australia

Berlin, Germany

Luxembourg, 8 January 2015

Bologna, Italy

Chicago, U.S.

French Embassy, Moscow, Russia

Brussels, Belgium

Istanbul, Turkey
10–11 January[edit]
Main article: Republican marches
Wikinews has related news: Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo
Around 700,000 people walked in protest in France on 10 January. Major marches were held in Toulouse (attended by 180,000), Marseille (45,000), Lille (35–40,000), Nice (23–30,000), Pau (80,000), Nantes (75,000), Orléans (22,000), and Caen (6,000).[186]

On 11 January up to 2 million people including President Hollande and more than 40 world leaders led a rally of national unity in the heart of Paris to honour the 17 victims. The demonstrators marched from Place de la République to Place de la Nation. 3.7 million joined demonstrations nationwide in what officials called the largest public rally in France since World War II.[e]

There were also large marches in many other French towns and cities—perhaps three million people throughout France[clarification needed]—along with marches and vigils in many other cities worldwide.[f]

Republican marches on 11 January in France


Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris


Apologists for terrorism[edit]
About 54 persons in France, who had publicly supported the attack on Charlie Hebdo, were arrested as “apologists for terrorism” and about 12 people were sentenced to several months in jail.[193][194] Comedian Dieudonné faces the same charges for having written on Facebook “I feel like Charlie Coulibaly”.[195]

Planned attacks in Belgium[edit]
Main article: 2015 anti-terrorism operations in Belgium
Following a series of police raids in Belgium, in which two suspected terrorists were killed in a shootout in the city of Verviers, Belgian police stated that documents seized after the raids appear to show that the two were planning to attack sellers of the next edition of Charlie Hebdo released following the attack in Paris.[196] Police named the men killed in the raid as Redouane Hagaoui and Tarik Jadaoun.[196]

Protests following resumed publication[edit]
Unrest in Niger following the publication of the post-attack issue of Charlie Hebdo resulted in ten deaths,[197] dozens injured, and at least nine churches burned.[198] The Guardian reported seven churches burned in Niamey alone. Churches were also reported to be on fire in eastern Maradi and Goure. There were violent demonstrations in Karachi in Pakistan, where Asif Hassan, a photographer working for the Agence France-Presse, was seriously injured by a shot to the chest. In Algiers and Jordan, protesters clashed with police, and there were peaceful demonstrations in Khartoum, Sudan, Russia, Mali, Senegal, and Mauritania.[198] In the week after the shooting, 54 anti-Muslim incidents were reported in France. These included 21 reports of shootings and grenade-throwing at mosques and other Islamic centres and 33 cases of threats and insults.[d]

RT reported that a million people attended a demonstration in Grozny, the capital city of the Chechen Republic, protesting the depictions of Muhammad in Charlie Hebdo and proclaiming that Islam is a religion of peace. One of the slogans was “Violence is not the method”.[199]

French government[edit]
President François Hollande addressed media outlets at the scene of the shooting and called it “undoubtedly a terrorist attack”, adding that “several [other] terrorist attacks were thwarted in recent weeks”.[200] He later described the shooting as a “terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity”,[9] called the slain journalists “heroes”,[201] and declared a day of national mourning on 8 January.[202]

At a rally in the Place de la République in the wake of the shooting, mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said, “What we saw today was an attack on the values of our republic; Paris is a peaceful place. These cartoonists, writers and artists used their pens with a lot of humour to address sometimes awkward subjects and as such performed an essential function.” She proposed that Charlie Hebdo “be adopted as a citizen of honour” by Paris.[203]

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that his country was at war with terrorism, but not at war with Islam or Muslims.[204] French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, “The terrorists’ religion is not Islam, which they are betraying. It’s barbarity.”[205]

Other countries[edit]
Main article: International reactions to the Charlie Hebdo shooting

Obama signs a book of condolences at the Embassy of France, Washington, D.C.
The attack received immediate condemnation from dozens of governments worldwide. International leaders including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Stephen Harper, Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, David Cameron and Tony Abbott offered statements of condolence and outrage.[206]

Some English-language media outlets republished the cartoons on their websites in the hours following the shootings. Prominent examples included Bloomberg News, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Vox, and The Washington Free Beacon.[g]

Other news organisations covered the shootings without showing the drawings, such as The New York Times, New York Daily News,[213] CNN, Al-Jazeera America, Associated Press and The Daily Telegraph.[214] Two websites accused the latter group of self-censorship.[215][216] The BBC, which previously had guidelines against all depictions of Muhammad, showed a depiction of him on a Charlie Hebdo cover and announced that they were reviewing these guidelines.[217]

Other media publications such as Germany’s Berliner Kurier and Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza reprinted cartoons from Charlie Hebdo the day after the attack; the former had a cover of Muhammad reading Charlie Hebdo whilst bathing in blood.[218] At least three Danish newspapers featured Charlie Hebdo cartoons, and the tabloid BT used one on its cover depicting Muhammad lamenting being loved by “idiots”.[153] The German newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost re-published the cartoons, and their office was fire-bombed.[219][220] In Russia, LifeNews and Komsomolskaya Pravda suggested that the U.S. had carried out the attack.[221][222] “We are Charlie Hebdo” appeared on the front page of Novaya Gazeta.[222] Russia’s media supervision body, Roskomnadzor, stated that publication of the cartoons could lead to criminal charges.[223]

In China, the state-run Xinhua advocated limiting freedom of speech, while another state-run newspaper Global Times said the attack was “payback” for the West’s colonialism.[224][225]

Media organisations carried out protests against the shootings. Libération, Le Monde, Le Figaro, and other French media outlets used black banners carrying the slogan “Je suis Charlie” across the tops of their websites.[226] The front page of Libération ’​s printed version was a different black banner that stated, “Nous sommes tous Charlie” (“We are all Charlie”), while Paris Normandie renamed itself Charlie Normandie for the day.[153] The Frenchand UK versions of Google displayed a black ribbon of mourning on the day of the attack.[9]

Ian Hislop, editor of the British satirical magazine Private Eye, stated, “I am appalled and shocked by this horrific attack – a murderous attack on free speech in the heart of Europe. … Very little seems funny today.”[227] The editor of Titanic, a German satirical magazine, declared, “[W]e are scared when we hear about such violence. However, as a satirist, we are beholden to the principle that every human being has the right to be parodied. This should not stop just because of some idiots who go around shooting”.[228] Many cartoonists from around the world responded to the attack on Charlie Hebdo by posting cartoons relating to the shooting.[229] Among them was Albert Uderzo, who came out of retirement at age 87 to depict his character Astérix supporting Charlie Hebdo.[230] In Australia, what was considered the iconic national cartoonist’s reaction[231] was a cartoon by David Pope in the Canberra Times, depicting a masked, black-clad figure with a smoking rifle standing poised over a slumped figure of a cartoonist in a pool of blood, with a speech balloon showing the gunman saying, “He drew first.”[232]

Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm featured drawings by young cartoonists signed with “Je suis Charlie” in solidarity with the victims.[233] Al-Masry al-Youm also displayed on their website a slide show of some Charlie Hebdo cartoons, including controversial ones. This was seen by analyst Jonathan Guyer as a “surprising” and maybe “unprecedented” move, due to the pressure Arab artists can be subject to when depicting religious figures.[234]

The Guardian reported that “[o]ther Muslims said they would only condemn the Paris attack if France condemned the killings of Muslims worldwide”.[235] Zvi Bar’el argued in Haaretz that believing the attackers represented Muslims was like believing that Ratko Mladić represented Christians.[236] Al Jazeera English editor and executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr attacked Charlie Hebdo as the work of solipsists, and sent out a staff-wide email where he argued: “Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile.” The e-mail elicited different responses from within the organisation.[237][clarification needed]

Shia Islam’s journal Ya lasarat Al-Hussein, founded by Ansar-e Hezbollah, praised the shooting, saying, “[the cartoonists] met their legitimate justice, and congratulations to all Muslims” and “according to fiqh of Islam, punishment of insulting of Muhammad is death penalty”.[238][239][240][241][242][243]

Activist organisations[edit]
Reporters Without Borders criticised the presence of leaders from Egypt, Russia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, saying, “On what grounds are representatives of regimes that are predators of press freedom coming to Paris to pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo, a publication that has always defended the most radical concept of freedom of expression?”[244]

Hacktivist group Anonymous released a statement in which they offered condolences to the families of the victims and denounced the attack as an “inhuman assault” on freedom of expression. They addressed the terrorists: “[a] message for al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and other terrorists – we are declaring war against you, the terrorists.” As such, Anonymous plans to target jihadist websites and social media accounts linked to supporting Islamic terrorism with the aim of disrupting them and shutting them down.[245]

Muslim reactions[edit]
Condemning the attack[edit]
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, and Qatar denounced the incident, as did Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, the leading Sunni institution of the Muslim world.[246] Islamic organisations, including the French Council of the Muslim Faith, the Muslim Council of Britain and Islamic Forum of Europe, spoke out against the attack. Sheikh Abdul Qayum and Imam Dalil Boubakeur stated, “[We] are horrified by the brutality and the savagery.”[247] The Union of Islamic Organisations of France released a statement condemning the attack, and Imam Hassen Chalghoumi stated that those behind the attack “have sold their soul to hell”.[248]

The US-based Muslim civil liberties group, the Council on American–Islamic Relations, condemned the attacks and defended the right to freedom of speech, “even speech that mocks faiths and religious figures”.[249] The vice president of the US Ahmadiyya Muslim Community condemned the attack, saying, “The culprits behind this atrocity have violated every Islamic tenet of compassion, justice, and peace.”[250] The National Council of Canadian Muslims, a Muslim civil liberties organisation, also condemned the attacks.[251]

The League of Arab States released a collective condemnation of the attack. Al-Azhar University released a statement denouncing the attack, stating that violence was never appropriate regardless of “offence committed against sacred Muslim sentiments”.[252] The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the attack, saying that it went against Islam’s principles and values.[253]

Both the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Hamas government of the Gaza Strip stated that “differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder”.[254] The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah declared that “takfiri terrorist groups” had insulted Islam more than “even those who have attacked the Prophet”.[255][256]

Malek Merabet, the brother of Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim police officer killed in the shooting, condemned the terrorists who killed his brother: “My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims”.[257] Just hours after the shootings, the mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Muslim born in Morocco, condemned Islamist extremists living in the West who “turn against freedom” and told them to “fuck off”.[258]

Supporting the attack[edit]
Saudi-Australian Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne said: “If you want to enjoy ‘freedom of speech’ with no limits, expect others to exercise ‘freedom of action’.”[259][dubious – discuss] Anjem Choudary, a British Islamist, wrote an editorial in USA Today in which he professes justification from the words of Muhammad that those who insult prophets should face death, and that Muhammad should be protected to prevent further violence.[260] Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia[261] also supported the killing.[262] Bahujan Samaj Party leader Yaqub Qureishi, a Muslim MLA and former Minister from Uttar Pradesh in India, offered a reward of 510 million (US$8 million) to the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo shootings.[h] On 14 January, about 1,500 Filipino Muslims held a rally in Muslim-majority Marawi in support of the attacks, calling the incident a “moral lesson for the world to respect any kind of religion, especially the religion of Islam”. The rallyists also asserted that “Freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the noble and the greatest prophet of Allah.”[267][dubious – discuss]

After the attack, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula praised the attackers for killing Charb, and called for militants to murder others on their hit list.[66] A collection of global jihadist organisations condemned the cartoonists and praised the killers, including the Taliban in Afghanistan,[268][269] Al-Shabaab, a militant Islamist organisation in Somalia,[270][271] as well as Boko Haram of Nigeria.[272] ISIS militants in Syria also praised the massacre.[273][274]

Two Islamist newspapers in Turkey ran headlines that drew ire on social media for justifying the attack: the Yeni Akit ran an article entitled “Attack on the magazine that provoked Muslims”, and Türkiye ran an article entitled “Attack on the magazine that insulted our Prophet”.[275] Yahoo Canada reported a rally in support of the shootings in southern Afghanistan, where the demonstrators called the gunmen “heroes” who meted out punishment for the disrespectful cartoons. The demonstrators also protested Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s swift condemnation of the shootings.[276] Around 40 to 60[277] people gathered in Peshawar, Pakistan, to praise the killers, with a local cleric holding a funeral for the killers, lionizing them as “heroes of Islam.”[278][279]

Le Figaro reported that in a Seine-Saint-Denis primary school, up to 80% of the pupils refused[280] to participate in the minute of silence that the French government decreed for schools.[281] A student told a teacher, “I’ll drop you with a Kalashnikov, mate.” Other teachers were told Charlie Hebdo “had it coming”, and “Me, I’m for the killers”. One teacher requested to be transferred.[280] They also reported that students from a vocational school in Senlis tried to attack and beat students from a neighbouring school while saying “we will kill more Charlie Hebdos”. The incident is being investigated by authorities who are handling 37 proceedings of “terrorism glorification” and 17 proceedings of threats of violence in schools.[282]

La Provence reported that a fight broke out in the l’Arc à Orange high school during the minute of silence, as a result of a student post on a social network welcoming the atrocities. The student was later penalised for posting the message.[283] Le Point reported on the “provocations” at a grade school in Grenoble, and cited a girl who said “Madame, people won’t let the insult of a drawing of the prophet pass by, it is normal to take revenge. This is more than a joke, it’s an insult!”[284]

Le Monde reported that the majority of students they met at Saint-Denis condemned the attack. For them, life is sacred, but so is religion. Marie-Hélène, age 17, said “I didn’t really want to stand for the one minute silence, I didn’t think it was right to pay homage to a man who insulted Islam and other religions too”. Abdul, age 14, said “of course everyone stood for the one minute silence, and that includes all Muslims… I did it for those who were killed, but not for Charlie. I have no pity for him, he had no respect for us Muslims”. It also reported that for most students at the Paul Eluard high school in Saint-Denis, freedom of expression is perceived as being “incompatible with their faith”. For Erica, who describes herself as Catholic, “there are wrongs on both sides”. A fake bomb was planted in the faculty lounge at the school.[285]

France Télévisions reported that a fourth-grade student told her teacher, “We will not be insulted by a drawing of the prophet, it is normal that we take revenge.” It also reported that the fake bomb contained the message “I Am Not Charlie”.[286]

Public figures[edit]
The Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, said “we will not allow anyone to insult the prophet, even if it costs us our lives.”[287]

Salman Rushdie, who is on the Al-Qaeda hit list[17][66] and received death threats over his novel The Satanic Verses, said, “I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity … religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today.”[288]

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, also on the Al-Qaeda hit list[66] for publishing his own satirical drawings of Muhammad, condemned the attacks and said that the terrorists “got what they wanted. They’ve scared people. People were scared before, but with this attack fear will grow even larger”[289] and that the attack “expose[s] the world we live in today”.[290]

American journalist David Brooks wrote an article titled “I Am Not Charlie Hebdo” in The New York Times, arguing that the magazine’s humor was childish, but necessary as a voice of satire. He also criticised many of those in America who were ostensibly voicing support for free speech, noting that were the cartoons to be published in an American university newspaper, the editors would be accused of “hate speech” and the university would “have cut financing and shut them down.” He called on the attacks to be an impetus toward tearing down speech codes.[291]

Noam Chomsky views the popularization of the Je suis Charlie slogan by politicians and media in the West as hypocritical, comparing the situation to the NATO bombing of the Radio Television of Serbia headquarters in 1999, when 16 employees were killed. “There were no demonstrations or cries of outrage, no chants of ‘We are RTV’ […]”, he noted. Chomsky also mentioned other incidents where U.S. military forces have caused higher civilian death tolls, without leading to intensive reactions such as those that followed the 2015 Paris attacks.[292]

Bill Donohue, president of the U.S. Catholic League, said Charlie Hebdo had a “long and disgusting record” of mocking religious figures and that Charb “didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. … Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.”[293]

Cartoonist-journalist Joe Sacco expressed grief for the victims in a comic strip, and wrote

but … tweaking the noses of Muslims … has never struck me as anything other than a vapid way to use the pen … I affirm our right to “take the piss” … but we can try to think why the world is the way it is … and [retaliating with violence against Muslims] is going to be far easier than sorting out how we fit in each other’s world.[294]

Social media[edit]
French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve declared that by the morning of 9 January 2015, a total of 3,721 messages “condoning the attacks” had already been documented through the French government Pharos system.[295][296]

Politics and such


First, let me begin by saying that I am neither Libertarian nor Republican. I do not believe in elitism or any other practice that purposely disenfranchises sections of humanity. I am an atheist middle-of-the-road type who believes in the reality and certainty of Natural Selection as well as the hardwiring of human inclinations to destroy themselves. My statement that 90% of humanity is composed of followers remains true as is demonstrated by the animal in question. 10% of humanity are forward thinkers and less than 2% are natural born leaders, and the 90% drag the 10% down and thwart most of the good that the 10% could ever accomplish. This has been repetitious throughout human history since the formation of villages.

In the village there were village elders who held authority due to experience and charisma and directed the function of the body of people to greater efficiency or to complete ruin, it depended upon the leader. As humanity overcame natural predators, we gathered into concentrations of greater numbers and abandoned the hunter-gatherer way of life in favor of agrarian society. Villages appeared with small governmental structures and alliances or wars were made against opposing human concentration. History remains very much the same in that the elders, kings, whatever they called themselves, were many times afforded the ability to ignore the very laws that they themselves created because they had become corrupt and greedy. Seem familiar?

Today we complain about deregulation and the oligarchs that it has created. The ‘village elders’ have enacted broad deregulation of all of the major industries in this nation which in turn has allowed a select few to buy everything and stamp out small competition and bring the working people under the corporate boot. This is no different from the practices of 10,000 years ago and will continue until humanity has self-destructed or, on the off chance, evolved beyond the need for killing his brother, which I don’t think is possible. We can put a microchip on the head of a pin in 1967 but can’t control base animal behavior in 2015; we’re gonna fucking die!

Don’t be stupid people, we are full on oligarchy in the U.S and are nothing more than a corporate state with 1% of our population about ready to corner 40% of global wealth, that does NOT bode well for anyone and there is no significant opposition to this form of condoned indentured servitude! People are watching the fucking Kartrashians and worrying about what that stupid vapid whore Kim is gonna name her next genetically challenged supertard instead of trying to prevent corporate America from putting chains around their necks! Unbe-fucking-levable! Get your Goddamned face out of Michelle Duggar’s fucking diseased, well-traveled snatch and pay attention to whats going on before you end up having to hoist a rifle to protect your way of life!! But then again, instead of enacting sensible gun legislation, you pussies will probably try to ban them first. Hitler himself said that the best way to conquer a people was to first disarm them, and I truly believe in this. I believe that one of the reasons that we don’t experience the same problems as the Western Europeans is that terrorists fear our legal gun owners and know that they would never make it to trial if they tried the shit that they did with Charlie Hebdo, (Je suis Charlie, by the way, you savage pieces of shit!).

We, as a nation, are living up to the expectations of those who decry our lack of historical knowledge. We are repeating the most basic corruptions practiced by village elders of pre-history, we are excusing the transgressions of our leadership and looking the other way until things are so fucked up that it takes armed bloodshed to correct! We are doomed, I say. I have no faith in humanity to correct their greed and avarice, so I expect that we will destroy ourselves and another species will become dominant, period. All that I can do as a father, is to protect my children for as long as I can and hope beyond hope that humanity is more than just a base animal, I think not.

Fuck the talk about minimum wage and the bullshit about redistribution of wealth, we won’t be around long enough for anything to make a difference. Free-Speech TV is just a granola-shitting attempt to envision the human race giving a shit about one another and that is truly delusional shit. Much of it is crap anyway and doesn’t jibe with any real situation whatsoever, big fucking surprise.

The Sad, Conflicted Lives of America’s Gay Mormons


The Sad, Conflicted Lives of America’s Gay Mormons
By Scott Bixby January 15, 2015 

A man who made major news by publishing a survey of hundreds of gay members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints now faces excommunication for his advocacy of same-sex marriage.

John Dehlin, a doctoral student of clinical and counseling psychology at Utah State University and LGBT activist, working with Bill Bradshaw, a retired professor of molecular biology at Brigham Young University, published a historic 1,612-person survey of LGBT/same-sex attracted members of the Mormon church, producing statistics that further bolster the argument that, however complicated human sexuality may be, “praying away the gay” does more harm than good — and bringing a spouse along for the ride can be even more damaging. The survey was the largest of its kind, soliciting responses through the Internet from Mormons in 48 states and 22 countries.

The results? Married gay Mormons are three times as likely to get divorced.

The study, combined with Dehlin’s outspoken advocacy, has led to the commencement of excommunication proceedings against him on charges of apostasy for supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women.

Dehlin told the New York Times that his regional church leader had scheduled a disciplinary hearing later this month. “I would prefer for them to leave me alone,” he said in an interview with the Times, “but if given the choice between denying my conscience and facing excommunication, I’d much rather be excommunicated.”

The numbers behind his study tell a depressing story for gay Mormons. Between 51% and 69% of so-called “mixed-orientation marriages” between Mormons end in divorce; in comparison, roughly 26% of all Mormon marriages end in divorce. More than 70% of LGBT or “same-sex attracted” — the term used by those who acknowledge they are sexually and/or romantically attracted to members of the same sex but don’t identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual — Mormons end up leaving the church, either on their own volition or through excommunication.

A staggering 80% of respondents said they had undergone attempts to “change” their sexual orientation — 85% of those attempts were through a combination of religious and personal efforts, 31% were private efforts exclusively, 40% were through so-called “reparative therapists” and 21% were through group efforts.

The tactics used in reparative therapy — dismissed as dangerous quackery by the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association, among many other medical and mental health organizations — can range from masturbatory reconditioning and creative visualization to aversive treatments that pair electric shocks or nausea-inducing drugs with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli.

According to an American Psychological Association study, although some participants in the therapy report experiencing a lessening of same-sex attraction, these instances are “rare” and “uncommon,” and concluded that “given the limited amount of methodically sound research, claims that [reparative therapy] is effective are not supported.” Treatment in action is hard to watch:

These mixed-orientation marriages are driven by a struggle between faith and sexuality. The attempts to rewire human sexual desire are closely tied to the Mormon subjects’ desire to get married within the church, one of the nine “saving ordinances,” or rituals required for exaltation after death. According to a national religious survey conducted by Trinity College in 2008, 86% of Mormons are either married or have been married, the highest rate for any religious group in the United States.

This comports well with the experience of Jared Fronk, an economics Ph.D. in Washington D.C. and former member of the church.

“Not getting married is not an option. Unwed members are looked down upon with pity by all and contempt by more than a few,” Fronk told Mic. “Since heterosexual marriage is the purpose of life, it is assumed that anyone who does not get married (barring any obvious impediment) must therefore be secretly sinful or otherwise unworthy of the Lord’s blessings. It surpasses my skill with words to describe the sheer weight of cultural norms and religious dogma that drives gay men and women into heterosexual Mormon marriages.”

Although Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th president of the church, declared in 1987 that “marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices,” he did subtly endorse reparative therapy by announcing that marriage would be attainable once an LDS member overcame same-sex attraction “with a firm and fixed determination never to slip to such practices again.”

“Not getting married is not an option. Unwed members are looked down upon with pity by all and contempt by more than a few.”
That “firm and fixed determination” has led to mixed relationship results for LGBT Mormons: 42% of respondents in the historic survey are single, and 16% say they are one-half of a heterosexual marriage; just more than twice that percentage are in committed same-sex relationships. Peer-reviewed studies of mixed-orientation marriages have shown that many such relationships are rooted in religious approval of the “traditional” nuclear family — but these arrangements seldom work out. According to one German study, most of these marriages collapse due to infidelity as wife and lover compete for exclusivity: “The ‘love triangle’ can rarely be closed.”

“There is talk of lifelong celibacy as an option for gay men and women,” Fronk says, “but I have never heard of a success story. Every case of which I have heard has ended with either a mixed-orientation marriage or the man or woman ‘falling away’ from the LDS church, which in Mormondom is a fate far, far worse than death. I think most Mormon parents would rather their child die in righteousness — and thus be assured a place in heaven — than live in sin.”

The survey backs up Fronk’s assertions. The cognitive dissonance for those Mormons who came to discover their feelings of same-sex attraction were intractable pushed more than half to reject their faith entirely: 53% of the survey’s respondents rejected their LDS identity, compared with only 6% who rejected their LGBT identity.

Although there are a few organizations that aim to bridge the divide between LGBT and Mormon identity, only 4% of the people surveyed say they have “integrated” the two, like Jimmy Hales, star of a viral coming-out video wherein he declares that being a gay Mormon means he’s “going to lead a celibate life. Sucks.” But there’s no way around it. After all, “the doctrine of the Mormon church isn’t going to change.”

The lives behind the numbers are even more complicated. While most Americans know the Mormon church hasn’t exactly been a champion of gay rights, its history with homosexuality in principle and gay church members in practice is more complicated.

In a briefing on homosexuality, the LDS church states that “the church firmly believes that all people are equally beloved children of God and deserve to be treated with love and respect,” quoting apostle Elder Quentin L. Cook in stating that “as a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.” The church has tepidly supported statutes protecting LGBT Americans from workplace and housing discrimination. Mormon.org features a biography of a gay Mormon as part of its “I’m a Mormon” campaign, and the church has even created a website to address its relationship with the LGBT community.

But as LGBT people around the world have learned from Pope Francis, kind words haven’t always translated into kind actions. Hinckley himself stated in Ensign, the church magazine, that “we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage.”

The church has also flexed its muscle on LGBT-rights issues in the public sphere. Involvement by the church and proxy organizations in the Proposition 8 battle in California is widely seen as key to the initiative’s passage, with as much as half of the $40 million raised on behalf of the measure contributed by Mormons. The church has also historically maintained uncomfortably close ties with organizations that practice reparative therapy, including experiments at Brigham Young in the 1970s that delivered powerful electric shocks to the genitals of men experiencing arousal while watching gay pornography.

According to Fronk, the thin line between homosexual attraction and homosexual actions is blurrier than some church officials make it out to be. “In official discourse, same-gender attraction is often likened to a short temper or a problem with drugs: a weakness to be overcome but not a sin in itself. Acting on those impulses is what incurs God’s wrath.

“All that said, my experience growing up as an active member of the LDS church was that there was no fine distinction made between the two. Being gay was a sin. Full stop. In the pantheon of mortal sins, only murder out-eviled homosexuality.”

The feeling of failure was as devastating as the feeling of same-sex attraction itself. “I grew up thinking gays were the worst of sinners,” Fronk said. “Murderers you could kind of respect, but gays were just disgusting. I fought against acknowledging my own homosexuality for years, cycling through periods of intense depression and zealotry, convinced each time that through sheer force of prayer I could become straight and devastated anew at each failure.”

“In the pantheon of mortal sins, only murder out-eviled homosexuality.”
When same-sex attraction isn’t being described as a moral flaw, Fronk says, church members refer to it as a “disease,” a status homosexuality held in official doctrine until 1992. Blessings of healing are one of the principle sacraments of the Mormon faith, leading to the widely held belief that sufficient faith, prayer and fasting can cure anyone of the gay “disease.” Anyone failed to be cured is judged to have been insufficiently righteous.

“I served my full-time mission for the church entirely confident that for my unwavering devotion to God, He would surely heal me of my affliction,” Fronk said. “After honorably completing my service, I returned home to promptly fall in (unrequited) love with one of my best male friends, which only made me think that I had somehow failed to purge some blight of wickedness from my own soul, if God were willing to allow my curse of same-gender attraction to continue.”

Mixed-orientation marriages are just as difficult for straight spouses. According to a University of Chicago study, between 2% and 4% of ever-married American women have either knowingly or unknowingly married a gay man. According to the Straight Spouse Network, an online forum for the heterosexual spouses of LGBT men and women, “the process straight spouses go through is often described as being similar to the grieving process after the death of a loved one … however, in the case of a straight spouse, frequently the LGBT spouse is still around and involved in your life to some degree, and thus there is no clear point at which grieving ends.”

Prominent sexologist and social worker Joe Kort has controversially stated that “straight individuals rarely marry gay people accidentally,” a common narrative that leaves many heterosexual wives of gay men blaming themselves, often too embarrassed to seek support from family or friends. A Journal of Homosexuality report suggests that the side affects of the revelation that your spouse is gay — social isolation, stigma and a dearth of support — can be even more damaging than the end of a marriage.

These are real people and real marriages. The comic trope of the flamboyant husband and the clueless wife has been bandied about in popular culture forever, from Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation to TLC’s execrable My Husband’s Not Gay, a “special event” from the clogged toilet of American culture that brought you America’s Worst Tattoos and I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.

My Husband’s Not Gay, the latest in TLC’s long line of exploitative, voyeuristic freakshows masquerading as documentaries, follows four men who experience same-sex attraction but don’t want to live a “gay lifestyle.” It’s been slammed as “downright irresponsible” by Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, and more than 130,000 people have signed an online petition claiming that the show promotes “reparative therapy” and calling for its cancellation.

The decisions made by the men in My Husband’s Not Gay and by the 1,612 people in the Dehlin-Bradshaw survey are, largely, their choices to make, although many of those subjected to reparative therapy are children, treated through coercion or downright force. Rather than laughing at their own delusion and their spouses’ misfortune, we should be making the world a safer place for LGBT people to live full lives with authenticity and honesty.

For Fronk, the journey to self-acceptance took years — and the concerted efforts of people who loved him for who he was. “In the end, I was one of the lucky ones. One day I finally had the courage to begin praying to understand God’s will rather than ask him to change me. I then had my own spiritual experiences that convinced me that God had been trying to guide me all along: I had simply been asking the wrong questions.

“There was nothing wrong with me to fix. God loved me. And he wanted me to be truly happy, which for me meant accepting who I am.”

h/t Salt Lake Tribune