The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Innocent Blood Flows on the Streets of Paris

The EDL extends its heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of the butchered journalists who have just paid the ultimate price for freedom of speech.

The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was no stranger to attacks from Muslim radicals. At the beginning of November 2011, it survived having its Paris offices destroyed by a petrol bomb, a day after it named the Prophet Mohammed as its “editor-in-chief” for that week’s edition.

This time it’s the staff that have paid a heavy price for their bravery in speaking out against Islam. 12 people are now reported dead, with at least another 4 critically injured and the death toll is expected to rise.

The two attackers, apparently well trained in the use of the AK47 assault weapons they used in the attack, are reported to have shouted that their acts “restored the honour” of their prophet before escaping through the streets of Paris.

While French President Francois Hollande called the shooting a “terrorist attack without a doubt”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack as “abominable”, European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker called it a “brutal and inhuman attack” and our own Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack “sickening”, the media are continuing their efforts to avoid admitting that this attack was inspired by Islam.

How many signs saying ‘Behead those who insult Mohammed’ have to be paraded on our streets before our politicians take notice? How many lone wolf attacks have to take place before the authorities admit that wolves attack in packs?

In the words of French politician Philip Cordery: “Not only France, the whole of Europe is in shock today because by doing this horrendous act, the terrorists are once again attacking one of the important symbols of freedom, which is freedom of the press...”.

Like a join-the-dots puzzle, with attacks in Australia, Mumbai, Baghdad, London, New York, Boston and now Paris, how many more need to take place before someone calls attention to the drawing – not of a cartoon – but the hideous face of Islam?

Balises : 12, Charlie, Hebdo:, Journalists, Kuffarphobes, Muslim, blasphemy, execute, for

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Has France's Charlie Hebdo's legacy gone sour?

  • 13 October 2015
Tributes near the Charlie Hebdo offices more than a month after the terrorist attacks in February 2015 in Paris, France.Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage captionAfter the murders, Charlie Hebdo's surviving staff left their Paris offices for a temporary home at Liberation newspaper

Paris attacks

Last January, gunmen stormed the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and shot 12 people dead. Another five were killed in a related attack on a Jewish supermarket elsewhere in Paris.

The shootings prompted an outpouring of sympathy and solidarity with Charlie Hebdo, and a flood of financial support, but nine months on has that legacy begun to sour?

It was, as much as anything, a story of survival; of the bravery and friendship highlighted by the horrific attack.

Media captionZineb el-Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo journalist: ''I think that we will face more and more censorship... more and more fear''

Survivors spoke of the close ties between staff members. A few days after her colleagues had died, reporter Zineb el-Rhazoui told me those left behind had "wanted to meet, wanted to touch each other". Creating the next issue of the paper was a way of honouring the bonds they felt as a team, she said.

Nine months on, the focus has switched to infighting and resignations at Charlie Hebdo. It was like watching a football team in transfer season, said one French journalist.

Over the past few weeks, the paper's senior cartoonist, Luz - the man who designed that famous green cover of the first edition after the attacks - has announced his resignation. And columnist Patrick Pelloux has announced he will leave by the end of the year.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, Renald Luzier (C) aka Luz and Patrick Pelloux (R), Charlie Hebdo journalist, during the Charlie Hebdo press conference held at the Liberation offices in Paris on January 13, 2015 in Paris, FranceImage copyrightGetty ImagesImage captionThe paper's senior cartoonist, Luz, and columnist Patrick Pelloux (R) have announced they are leaving the paper

"Charlie Hebdo died on 7 January, and part of us died with the victims," Mr Pelloux told me.

"We had to go on, to show our courage. But being strong is also about being able to turn a page and letting others take on the fight. Charlie Hebdo is dead. Today there is a new Charlie Hebdo - one that has become a world symbol of free speech and good journalism."

Shortly after the attacks, more than a million people marched through the streets of Paris to show solidarity with Charlie Hebdo.

Almost overnight, the paper and its staff became a worldwide symbol for free speech. And that is a lot of pressure for anyone, says Laurent Joffrin, editor of France's Liberation newspaper.

"A working-class hero is a hard thing to be, and a freedom of speech hero is a hard thing to be," he says. "They were not trained to become that - they were trained to do drawings in their small paper."

For most of the next nine months, Charlie Hebdo's small team of staff worked out of the offices of the French newspaper Liberation.

Now they have just moved to a new permanent home. But Mr Joffrin says the continued security risk still weighs heavy on every member of staff.

"The threat against them is very high," he told me.

"Every Islamist in the world dreams of killing one of those guys. And so they have to live in their apartments with their curtains closed because they're afraid of snipers. They live in the dark. And it's probably going to last the rest of their lives. It shows that those who go on are especially courageous."

Mr Joffrin says the paper has not changed its values as a result of the attack.

French cartoonist Riss (2nd R) stands alongside the general secretary of NGO Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) Christophe Deloire (1st R) and financial director of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Eric Portheault (3rd R), during the unveiling of a stone in honour of the war reporters killed in 2015 in the war reporters' memorial, on 8 October 2015 in Bayeux, north-western France, during the annual Bayeux-Calvados war journalism award weekImage copyrightAFPImage captionCharlie Hebdo cartoonist Riss (2nd R) attend the unveiling of a stone in honour of war reporters killed in 2015, including Charlie Hebdo journalists killed in the attack

But others disagree. Both Luz and the paper's new director, Riss, have said they are not drawing the Prophet Mohammed anymore.

Reporter Zineb el-Rhazoui says she is worried that security fears are prompting a change of editorial direction.

"I wonder if this is a kind of withdrawal, in order to make the terrorists more serene, and forget us. If it is such a strategy, I believe it's a wrong strategy because when you accept the limits they want to put on you, they will put other limits on you."

Zineb el-Rhazoui, along with 14 other staff, published an open letter earlier this year, calling for the paper to stay true to its values.

But the editorial disputes, common to any media organisation, have been complicated by another, unexpected consequence of the January attack: money.

"It's complicated things," she says.

"Charlie Hebdo was a poor newspaper before the attacks, and after 7 January we received money from everywhere, a lot of money. We became one of the richest newspapers in France. And the problem is that the money and the power to make decisions are concentrated in the hands of just two shareholders."

The attacks killed three of the paper's five shareholders, including its founder and director, Charb.

The surviving shareholders, including Riss, have said that 100% of the profits from this year will be reinvested into the paper.

Donations will be divided up among the victims and their families - but even that is causing disputes over how to share out the funds.

For some, the human loss on 7 January has also meant the loss of something essential at the paper. To paraphrase Patrick Pelloux: Charlie Hebdo is dead, long live Charlie Hebdo.

Grey line

Paris attack victims:

Charlie Hebdo offices:

  • Charlie Hebdo editor and cartoonist Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, 47, who had been living under police protection since receiving death threats
  • Cartoonists Jean "Cabu" Cabut, 76, Bernard "Tignous" Verlhac, 57, Georges Wolinski, 80, and Philippe Honore, 73
  • Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist, the only woman killed
  • Economist and regular magazine columnist Bernard Maris, 68, known to readers as Uncle Bernard
  • Michel Renaud, visiting from the city of Clermont-Ferrand
  • Mustapha Ourrad, proof-reader
  • Police officer Ahmed Merabet, 42, who was shot dead in a nearby street after the attack
  • Frederic Boisseau, 42, caretaker, in the reception area at the time of the attack
  • Franck Brinsolaro, 49, a police officer who acted as Charb's bodyguard

Montrouge shooting

  • Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 27, policewoman killed in the suburb of Montrouge

HyperCacher supermarket:

  • Yohan Cohen, 20, worked at kosher supermarket
  • Philippe Braham, 45, business manager for an IT company
  • Yoav Hattab, 21, student
  • Francois-Michel Saada, 64, former pension fund manager


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Muslim Terrorism Count

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

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Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

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These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
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