Face of the day

Today’s Face of the day is a man of courage, a man who stood for freedom of expression, a man who persisted in the face of danger. His body guard was not able to save him or the others at his newspaper. I honour him, and them today and I challenge us all to not let their deaths be in vain. We too must be brave. We too must stand strong against this worldwide threat against the freedoms that we hold so dear.


Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier Photo: AFP

Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was among four cartoonists killed in the Paris massacre which left 12 people dead in total.

Charbonnier, known as “Charb”, was 47. He had received death threats in the past and had been under police protection.

Reports say he was in an editorial meeting with the others when two masked gunmen burst in and opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles.

The gunmen reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar!” (God is great).

More on this story

The left-wing magazine’s famous cartoonists went by nicknames – the others who died were called Cabu, Tignous and Wolinski.

Charb had strongly defended Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad.

“Muhammad isn’t sacred to me,” he told the Associated Press in 2012, after the magazine’s offices had been fire-bombed.

“I don’t blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law. I don’t live under Koranic law.”

In 2007 Charlie Hebdo also defended itself in court over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, reprinted in the magazine, which had angered Muslims.

But Charlie Hebdo’s anti-establishment satire was wide-ranging – it included poking fun at the far right, and aspects of Catholicism and Judaism.

‘Idiot extremists’

The Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique says a cartoon by Charb this week was hauntingly prophetic.

It was headlined “Still no attacks in France” and showed an Islamist militant with the speech bubbles: “Wait! We still have until the end of January to present our wishes” – a satirical play on new year wishes.

Charlie Hebdo

A woman holds up the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo during a gathering at the Place de la Republique (Republic square) in Paris following the attack. Photo: AFP

He was the weekly magazine’s most recent editor, having taken the reins in 2012.

Charlie Hebdo was launched in 1969 but folded in 1981. However it was resurrected in 1992. Its circulation was not very big.

Its offices were destroyed in a petrol bomb attack in November 2011, a day after it named the Prophet Muhammad as “editor-in-chief” for its next issue.

In a BBC interview Charbonnier said that incident was an attack against freedom itself and an act by “idiot extremists” not representative of France’s Muslim population.

He said the attack showed that Charlie Hebdo was right to defy Islamists and “make their lives difficult, as much as they do ours”.

His regular illustrations for the magazine were titled “Charb doesn’t like people”.

Other cartoonists killed

The other three cartoonists killed were: Jean Cabut, known across France as Cabu; Georges Wolinski; and Bernard Verlhac, better known as Tignous.

Also shot dead was popular economist Bernard Maris, 68, not a cartoonist but well-known for his Charlie Hebdo editorials and national radio commentaries.

Charlie Hebdo cartoonists

(From left) French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s deputy chief editor Bernard Maris and cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut, aka Cabu, Charb and Tignous. Photo: AFP

Cabu: Jean Cabut, 76

Cabu traced the times he lived in for nearly six decades, sparing no-one and nothing: not presidents, not the military, not religion. In that, he carried on a tradition of French pamphleteers.

Cabu’s most enduring creation was the “Beaufs”, caricaturing the worst of French complainers, racists and jingoists.

But it was cartoons he did of the Prophet Mohammed for Charlie Hebdo, among his most caustic work, that brought ceaseless death threats upon him and the newspaper’s staff.

“Cartoonists live on stupidities and that will never be turned back,” he once said.

Wolinski: Georges Wolinski, 80

Wolinski was a legend in French cartooning, with work stretching back to well before Charlie Hebdo’s beginning in 1970.

Born in Tunisia in 1934 to a Polish father murdered when he was just two years old, and to an Italian mother from Tuscany, Georgie, as he was called by his grandmother, discovered comic books from US soldiers deployed to North Africa.

Arriving in Paris at the end of World War II, he started illustrating his high school newspaper and then moved on in 1961 to a publication called Hara Kiri. When that paper was ordered closed by officials, he moved on with its staff to start Charlie Hebdo.

“We used cartoons to talk about the times we lived in, about society, about women,” he said.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Wolinski struck out on his own to work for several of France’s leftist mainstream newspapers and magazines. In 1992 he returned to Charlie Hebdo while also publishing his own comic book work separately.

Tignous: Bernard Verlhac, 57

Less well-known than the others, but still very much appreciated in the industry for his corrosive touch and energy, Verlhac had been a cartoonist for the French press since the 1980s. He worked for several other outlets at the same time as for Charlie Hebdo.

“A newspaper cartoon is extremely difficult to get right because you have to get everything into just one frame. It’s the opposite of comics,” he once said.




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  • Korau

    In a startling example of the law on unintended consequences Charlie Hendo will have a print run of 1,000,000 copies in next weeks run, up from the normal 30,000. The magazine is receiving huge financial assistance and content inputs to enable this to be achieved.

    So, the murderers have achieved what? A huge boost to the magazine.

    Source : http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/8/7514251/charlie-hebdo-will-publish-one-million-copies-next-week-with-help

    • Michael_l_c

      The murderers achieved what they wanted. The death of the infidels. A loud statement to intimidate others.

      derek fox was one of the first to excuse them.

      “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” Voltaire

      • thehawkreturns

        Whaleoil has become the best outlet of free speech in this country. I cannot praise this site enough.

    • Toothbrush76

      I seem to recall a similar reaction with the increase in size and influence of a certain blog during our elections last year.

  • Wheninrome

    Laughter, the ability to laugh at one’s self.
    People who can with a simple swipe of the pen create the above do so much for us.
    Laughter is healthy, a sense of fun, makes day to day life so much more.
    The Sun tends to shine more, work goes so much more easily.
    This is an absolute tragedy, a loss. These people are so bright, quick of mind, able to see through the nitty, gritty and get to the main issue with a few lines on paper.

  • steve and monique

    This outrage should serve as a notice to all those in the World, that these idiots will go to any extreme, in the name of their Religion. Maybe now the world should go to any length to eradicate the risk to society that this group bring. First step, stop being so PC.

  • conwaycaptain

    The cycle copper who was ‘executed’ was a married Muslim policeman.

    • Skydog

      Oh well, the terrorists will justify themselves by calling him a traitor.

  • intelligentes candida diva

    I am out spoken and and cherish my freedom of expression, therefore in honour of the victims, I say.
    “Je suis charlie
    Vous etes charlie
    Nous sommes charlie”

    “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it” Voltaire


  • intelligentes candida diva

    I like the solidarity being shown by French Canadian newspapers as they unite to show honour to the victims with running a same cartoon, one gazette opts out.


    • The Accountant

      So long as they are consistent with what they opt out of: “we don’t publish anything that may insult any religion”, then fair is fair.

  • letrec

    Hi SB I had to post this again.Please have a look if you did not see it yesterday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7yGN8SlIEZ8#t=0

    • spanishbride

      I saw it and commented on it last night. It was chilling. That woman has been raised since a baby to have hate in her heart. It was horrible viewing. She thought she was so clever the way she spoke to him but he cleverly and calmly led her to reveal herself. What is sad is that the people in the room did not react more strongly against her. I certainly would have had I been there.

      • Catriona

        Wow, that was powerful. And that scary thing is that there are these networks full of angry people just like her. I remember here locally in an organisation I belong to, the guest speakers for the month were two Muslim women, Woah! They were scary. And this is NZ. One of them tried to stand for Labour if I recall. One in particular was extremely righteous about being a Muslim in NZ – and she was an import! This woman reminded me of her. Some of us got up and walked out as it was clear they had a political agenda.

        • thehawkreturns

          Muslims cannot be New Zealanders. They live here until it becomes part of the Caliphate. They do not recognise any nation-state.

      • Wendy

        I watched last night too, and at the end, my jaw actually dropped. I felt ill. And I noted, like you, that no one in the room reacted. No facial expressions changed. Just wow.

      • Jas

        I maybe wrong here but I also think as well as hatred for the West the other reason for all the increased attacks etc is to stop what they see as the rise of females thinking and questioning why they are treated in the way they are.

        And of course to keep the money in the same hands

    • intelligentes candida diva

      She was condescending but he backed her in a corner, from which at least she had the guts to say her position. I didn’t notice any guns rolling out to kill her for her position!!!!

      • Catriona

        No, but my bet is she wouldn’t hesitate to mow someone down for a different view to hers.

        • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

          She even advertised the MSA’s ongoing “Annual Hitler Youth week” (0:40 in the video)
          Absolute tie-up of all those who try to control the world and strip us of our freedoms – Islamo-fascists, Left-wing socialists, Nazis and Greens, and all with their respective armed youth divisions.

  • Korau

    One 18 year old suspect has handed himself in to the police
    Two other suspects believed to be al Qaeda trained, have been named and are being actively hunted. Their photos have been widely published.

    My guess is that the two murderers will die in a hail of bullets. One can only hope the virgins assigned to them will be the most dried up bunch of old hags ever assembled.

    More here : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2900259/Gunmen-kill-11-Charlie-Hebdo-attack.html

  • waldopepper

    as tragic as this incident is, i think one positive that is coming from it is that the lion may finally have been awakened. i suspect this will be the wake up call for europe who, after all, suffered the most at the hands of the nazis. freedom of the press is one of the first things hitler cracked down on, by simple thuggery as he rose to power, and then once he was in power many journos simply disappeared. this attack bears all the hallmarks of the former, and enough similarities already exist where learned gentlemen compare the rise of islam with the rise of the nazis, so i think the tipping point may have just been reached. if it has, i suspect 1 mosque will burn, then 2, then 5, then 10 as the mob becomes emboldened and the politicians across europe who have not listened to their people for decades and allowed this situation to develop are now powerless to stop the reprisals. if mainstream muslims were genuine, they would march in equal numbers denouncing the attacks, but despite the constant “islam is a religion of peace” mantra, all evidence appears to the contrary. “judge a man by his actions, not his words”.

  • Jas

    You have to wonder how the extreme left wing will talk about this. The magazine poked fun at all the stuff they despise yet the people who worked there were killed by a group that they all support.
    And what is even funnier is that the group that did this despise the extreme left wing also but use them and the left wing don’t realise it because they like the perpetrators are so narrow in thought and focus.

  • Just a thought …

    Still waiting to hear anything from Wussel and co. over this…………….. still waiting , waiting ………..

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy


      (the green-tongued wussel is waiting for some thought to come into his orange-clad head………..waiting…………waiting………)

  • Catriona

    Yesterday’s events are chilling, indeed. Who are Muslims to dictate to the rest of the world what they can and cannot say? If I don’t like what a Muslim or anyone else for that matter has to say on a subject, I am hardly likely to go after them with a gun and mow them down. I respect their right to the views. It’s not up to me to change their thinking nor is it up to them to change mine.
    Sensitive little sausages indeed these radical Muslims – and extremely dangerous ones at that. And the scary thought is that we don’t have a clue what plans are being hatched in our local Mosques.

    • Just a thought …

      Absolutely. It is amazing how indoctrinated they are that they cannot see the absolute hypocrisy of their actions……. ie they cannot tolerate any other (mainly western ) cultures saying anything against Islam but it is okay for them to do and say anything against anyone else……..

      When people operate from such slanted / closed perspective you really cannot win…… reminds me of the same issues I face trying to have a logical discussion with my 3 yr old over why he can’t have chocolate for breakfast……. I’m just glad he doesn’t own an AK47 ……… ( yet … )

      edit: sp

      • Michael_l_c

        Extreme islamists know they are right, therefore justified. They have no respect for anything other that their corrupt, disgusting ‘ideals’. Their aim is to take over the world & the world is letting them, one person at a time.

        • thehawkreturns

          There is no “extreme” in Islam Michael. Only Islam. When everyone grasps that fact we can begin to root out the death-virus in our society.

          • Rocket

            I know this is a day late – I’ve been away in the Marlborough Sounds, kayaking and walking, but I have to second this statement.
            There is no such thing as moderate Islam. Period.

    • Not-an-expert

      Yes sensitive like little children who do not get their way. Sadly these childish men are so evil and have access to money, support and weapons.

  • Rex

    You will wait for ever to,hear anything from Wussell and the Greens. If they had their way that would invite ISIS here to live! As for that guy Fox he is an utter disgrace.

    • TSD

      Fox’s comments were offensive. By his own standards he can now be told to shut up whenever anybody doesn’t like what he’s saying, after all he must have respect for the consequainces of his arrogance. It’s actually quite a good outcome, I hope to meet him someday so I can order him to be silent!

    • Bluemanning

      I saw reading Fox face book that a certain horrid journalist FRANtically was trying to support his perspective words to the effect urging readers and posters ‘to think about’ what Fox was trying to say.

  • jaundiced

    The newspapers around the world have been editorialising on the right to free speech, that they will not be cowered etc. Yet, in this country at least, not one (please correct me if I’m wrong) has had the courage to publish any of the Mohammed cartoons that caused the offense. On that front, the terrorists have achieved their goal.

    • Cadwallader

      I doubt they will. One commenter yesterday was going to get some of the cartoons emblazoned on tee-shirts. If sufficient Kiwis did just that it would send messages in all directions that enough is enough. I am trying to get hold of a French flag today and fly it for awhile. It is a minor gesture but it’s the best I can do at present.

  • Just a thought …

    Anyone else get the feeling that the ” pendulum” is about to start swinging back ……..

    • Je Suis Charlie – Respect!!

      I hope so.

    • steve and monique

      Amen to that, Putin wouldn’t stand for this – maniac he may be and maybe that is just what is needed

      • Dumrse

        Let’s get closer to home… Lee Kuan Yew wouldn’t stand for it either. NZ, what are you going to do ?

        • conwaycaptain

          Give Mr Lee a ring and ask him.
          I would assume arrest, trial and then a 6’drop

  • Citizen

    The Beginning of the end of Islam in Europe!

    • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

      Doubt it. Any and all muslims that vote, vote for the left. So, the left vote for their bed-mates.
      But, it might be the beginning of the end of the left in Europe. Look at how UKIP, LePen and others have been gaining ground . . .

      Only problem is that there are NeoNazi dingbats whose antisemitics are louder than their xenophobias, and so are wide open to infiltration from islam.

      • thehawkreturns

        Quite right. The Right need to make one thing clear. Islam is the one and only problem all of Europe must unite to destroy.

  • Wendy

    I am not Jewish. That in itself is not important, but its kind of relevant to this story.

    Some time ago I read Eshet Chayil. Eshet Chayil is a passage in the book of Proverbs and is Hebrew for “woman of valour”. It is recited or sung by the husband to his wife during Shabbat before Shabbat dinner. It is a beautiful passage about the strength and courage of a woman.

    It begins “A woman of valor, who can find?
    Far beyond pearls is her value.
    Her husband’s heart trusts in her
    and he shall lack no fortune…”

    This so resounded with me that I went and bought the tee shirt (lol). When I put it on my son said to me “You’re not actually going to wear that are you mum?” We were going to Avondale.

    The hell Im not going to wear it.

    The hell Im not going to be intimidated into not expressing myself in what I think is a very beautiful way that promotes women so positively.

    And if I am challenged for my choice of expression…well…Ill leave that to your imaginations.

    I am an eshet chayil. I might not agree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it.

    • Wendy

      What the…can someone fix that?!

      • Nope. Discus limitation.

    • dgrogan

      Good for you, Wendy. Just one question: Are you prepared for someone to mistake your T Shirt for an ISIS flag? Just sayin.

      • 1951

        To the untrained eye, it looks more decorative, floral.

        • Wendy

          Its both…flowered up for prettiness.

          • 1951

            It’s lovely.

      • Wendy

        I am very happy to explain it, and to point out, if it needs pointing out, that not all white imagery on a black background is an IS flag.

  • Sweet Lips.

    Vive la liberte.