Last night, masked gunmen stormed the office of satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo in Paris. The gunmen murdered 12 people and left 11 others injured. Why?
This is a closer look at some of these issues, to explain some background and to try and find some order in the way the world is responding.
Please note: this post includes some of the controversial covers that have caused some distress in the French Muslim community.
1. What is Charlie Hebdo magazine and what did it do?
Charlie Hebdo is a satirical left-wing French weekly magazine that pokes fun at religious figures, politicians and celebrities. Hebdo is short for ‘hebdomadaire’, which means ‘weekly’. Charlie is a reference to Peanuts character, Charlie Brown (and maybe a cheeky wink at former French President, Charles de Gaulle).
Charlie Hebdo was first published in 1969, then closed in the 1980s, before restarting in 1992.
The magazine is famous for its caricatures of public figures. Fiercely political and anti-religion, the images are over-blown, provocative and satirical.
No public figure or religion is safe: Police have been shown holding the dripping heads of immigrants; there have been masturbating nuns, popes wearing condoms and jokes about dead presidents – anything to make a point. Just last month, an edition featured a cartoon of the Virgin Mary, spread-eagled, giving birth to Jesus. The last tweet sent by Charlie Hebdo before the shooting was a cartoon of Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issuing a New Year greeting.