Words can barely describe the state of shock across France the day after the terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo. Keeping the vastly different proportions in mind, it is a shock that recalls that experienced around the world on 11 September, 2001.
The paper salutes the work of its assassinated colleagues —
For several years and decades, they used caricature, humour and impudence to resist fanaticism, to attack fundamentalism, to denounce stupidity and to mock institutions.
Even though the staff of Charlie Hebdo were aware of the threats against them, they “never backed down, gave in or batted an eye”. As it condemns the attack, Le Monde also warns against a “trap” intended to “exacerbate the divisions, suspicions and fears that pervade French society” and calls for “stopping any association between the assailants and the whole of the Muslim community”. The paper hails the spontaneous republican gatherings that happened the day of the attack and concludes with the catchphrase of solidarity that has spread in France and around the world: “We are Charlie.”