• 59°

Terrorism strikes speech

The terrorists who gunned down the staff of Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris may think they have silenced their enemies. Instead, they have given birth to millions more.

Most Americans never heard of Charlie Hebdo before Wednesday’s massacre. The provocative, satirical weekly dared to spoof Islam — as well as Christianity and Judaism — and published insulting cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. As a result, its offices were firebombed in 2011. The magazine’s editor, writers and cartoonists refused to be bullied, and they bravely — some might say foolishly — continued to antagonize those who threatened them. A bodyguard was assigned to protect the editor. The guard was among the 12 people slaughtered Wednesday.

The gunmen who murdered the magazine’s staff did so in the name of Allah, in their extremist view, and believed anyone who spoofed the prophet Muhammad or their faith should die. The Muslim Councils of France and Britain, have denounced the attack, as have many Muslims. “We are horrified by the brutality and the savagery,” one imam said.

Some will say Charlie Hebdo’s leaders asked for it. They defied dangerous people and ignored warnings. Regardless of its message, though, Charlie Hebdo exercised free speech and free press rights recognized in democracies around the world. The first step toward repression is to intimidate critics and silence free speech.

Journalists are often seen as adversaries by those who want to control news, but this is something much darker and more sinister. ISIS beheaded two journalists. Now a group of terrorists has leveled a Paris newsroom. Free people everywhere must band together to protect every person’s right to speak freely. Attacks on the reporting of news and the free expression of opinion are attacks on freedom itself.

Comments

News

Man killed by deputy recalled as storyteller, jokester

News

Rowan’s Sen. Ford backs ‘Election Integrity Act’ to move up absentee ballot deadlines

Business

Salisbury earns ranking on national list of best small cities to start a business

Crime

Supreme Court makes it easier to give minors convicted of murder a life sentence

Local

Quotes of the week

Local

Salisbury Human Relations Council offering online Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

News

Bill seeking permanent daylight saving clears NC House

News

Friends describe Elizabeth City man killed by deputy

Business

With second hobbit house now complete, Cherry Treesort looks toward future expansion

College

Catawba Sports: 2021 Hall of Fame class announced

Crime

Supreme Court makes it easier to sentence minors convicted of murder to life in prison

Local

Overton dedicates tree to longtime volunteer Leon Zimmerman

Coronavirus

First dose COVID-19 vaccinations up to 24% in Rowan County

Crime

Blotter: April 22

Crime

Lawsuit: Salisbury Police, Rowan Sheriff’s Office tore woman’s shoulder during traffic stop

Business

‘Believe me, they’ll be fresh’: Patterson Farm welcomes strawberry crop

Local

City appoints more members to boards, commissions, with 9 seats left to be filled

News

Virtual play groups the new norm at Smart Start

Local

City meets in closed session to consult with attorney on two ongoing litigation cases

Education

Summit takes art out of the classroom, into the student’s home

Education

Education briefs: Gene Haas Foundation donates $12,500 to RCCC

Business

County’s restaurant grant program dishes out funding to eight local eateries

High School

High school football: Yow out as South head coach

Education

Shoutouts