Charlie Hebdo: Who is to Blame?

Two Muslim killers wiped out the whole editorial team of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo at noontime in Paris on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. This cold-blooded murder is an indefensible crime. The killers claimed that they have “avenged the Prophet Mohammad”. And Allah was considered “great”. Have they committed their heinous crime in the name or in defense of Islam? Charlie Hebdo has a long history of angering Muslims with cartoons, but it caricatured also all religions.


Worldwide, the terrorist attack was amicably considered as an attack on freedom of press and freedom of speech, or on all of us. French President Francois Hollande declared that France will not be intimidated and would not give up its freedom. Was the satirical magazine really a guardian of freedom of press or just a left-wing political correct magazine, which justified the US-led aggressions in the Muslim world in the name of human rights? Minutes before the attack, the magazine had tweeted a cartoon about the leader of the Islamic State.

It seems as if the Islamic fanatics reflected the brutal religious war being waged in Iraq and Syria and perhaps soon in Yemen and Saudi-Arabia, too, which is going to effect the Western world. The wars of the US Empire and its willful allies against the Muslim world are a hotbed for Islamic radicalism. The scenario follows a tit for tat logic. The atrocities, committed by Bush, Blair, Sarkozy and Hollande, played right in the hands of modern jihadists. The only remedy to stop the ride into the abyss is to terminate the war against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and face the fundamentalist Saudi-Arabian dictatorship head-on.

France is a “stalwart ally” of the US-led war against the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIL), as US President Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, announced and he added “We know they are not going to be cowed by this terrible act.” The US-led Western coalition has been killing Muslims by the Millions and ravaged their countries since their attack on Afghanistan and Iraq. Are the European-born jihadists who return from their “adventurers” in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere considered the blowback of the murderous wars of Western imperialism waged in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen or Mali?

France and Great Britain were leading the attack on Libya, and France was at the helm when an attack on Syria was in the pipeline. The former President Nikolas Sarkozy got the order to raid Libya from a bellicose philosophy professor via mobile, and President Hollande tried to drag Obama in another military adventure in Syria. The war against ISIL, which is a US and Saudi-Arabian creation in order to break up both countries, will continue to promote the alienation between the Muslin world and the West. The consequence of these wars are European jihadists moving to the Middle East and taking part in the “clash of civilizations”, which was also an invention by US intellectuals in lieu of a lack of a bogeyman after the disappearance of Soviet-style communism.

In promoting the Islamic enemy image, Charlie Hebdo was not the real model of freedom of speech. It was rather one of many mouthpieces of a predominant trend all across Europe that is racist, islamophobic, xenophobic, and exclusively Western value-oriented. This arrogant attitude is now bearing terrible fruit.

Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He runs the bilingual blog Between the lines. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Ludwig.