Charlie or Ahmed?

If you notice at all the international news, by now you must have heard about the assassination of editors, cartoonists, and staffers at France’s Charlie Hebdo. The attack must be considered an assassination, since some of the victims were specifically targeted by name. It’s also appropriate to use the term “assassination”, given the origins of the word.

For the record, the dead are:

  • Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier, 47, the editor in chief of Charlie Hebdo and one of its top cartoonists.
  • Bernard “Tignous” Verlhac, 57, a member of a group of artists called “Cartoonists of Peace” and also belonged to the Press Judiciare, an association of French journalists covering the courts.
  • Jean “Cabu” Cabut, 76, established himself as one of France’s best-known cartoonists over a career that spanned 50 years.
  • Georges Wolinski, 80, another of Charlie Hebdo’s veteran cartoonists. He was awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest decoration, in 2005.
  • Bernard Maris, 68, wrote a weekly column in Charlie Hebdo called “Uncle Bernard,” was a regular commentator for the France Inter radio network, and taught economics at a branch of the University of Paris.
  • Michel Renaud, the founder of the Clermont Ferrand-based festival of travel journals “Rendez-vous du Carnet de Voyage” who was visting the offices at the time.
  • Police officers Ahmed Merabet and Franck Brinsolaro
  • Three other staffers and a maintenance worker were also killed, but I haven’t yet been able to find their names.

The assassins identified themselves as members of one of the Al-Qaeda offshoots, and cited the paper’s “insults” to Islam as the reason for the killings.

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