Three heavily-armed masked men shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed at least 12 people as they stormed into the Paris office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday (Jan 7.).
The twelve victims included eight journalists, two policemen, a maintenance worker and a visitor. Eleven were injured, with four in serious condition, according to Paris prosecutor François Molins.
Two men remained on the run, after hijacking a car. According to AFP, an 18-year-old implicated in the attack has surrendered to police.
No stranger to controversy, Charlie Hebdo angered many muslims worldwide with its unfavourable portrayal of Prophet Muhammad. The magazine also poked fun at other religions and is known for its provocative cartooons.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman told Channel NewsAsia that Singapore strongly condemns the “heinous attack” and “support the French government’s efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice”. It also expressed its condolences to the families of the victims and to the people of France.
Below are reactions from local opinion-leaders about the incident:
A government-security point of view
“We must treasure and strengthen the ties that bind our communities together in Singapore…We’ve stepped up our security patrols and surveillance in relevant areas.” – Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean
The view from the French embassy in Singapore
A S’porean Muslim’s view
“As a Muslim it doesn’t feel enough–one is expected to also disclaim, disavow, denounce…I used to feel uneasy about making such pronouncements, because surely anyone who is sensible enough can distinguish between the extremist sociopaths of a particular religion and all its other peaceful and law-abiding adherents. This time I’m too shocked, nauseated and anguished to even feel defensive. How dare we demand that others behave sensibly when something so senseless has been committed in the name of the religion?” – Alfian Sa’at, Resident Playwright at W!LD RICE
A celebrity’s view
“Heartbreaking. if your faith can be shaken by a mere drawing then you have none”. – DJ Rosalyn Lee
An author’s view
“so depressing, desperately sad.” – Neil Humphreys
View from local media
Views from online sites
“We believe in ‘conditional’ freedom of speech.” – SMRT Ltd (Feedback)
Satire is a dangerous business. – New Nation
“We will stand by civilised debate, courageous writers and the respect of the right of others to differ…At the same time, as Singaporeans, we understand the tedium of the argument as much as the logic of expressing our views responsibly in a pluralistic society like ours” – Mothership.sg
Top photo from here.