A protester holds a giant pencil next to a sign reading "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) during a march for freedom of speech and tolerance in Brussels on January 11, 2015. (AFP/BELGA/LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
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"Je suis Charlie" – I am Charlie – was the cry that that raced around the world in the wake of the murderous attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.Soon, though, came a riposte: "Je ne suis pas Charlie" – I am not Charlie – as the tragedy triggered a debate about free speech and its limits, and whether the right to offend should always be used.Charlie Hebdo had published crude, rude cartoons that mocked everyone from politicians to the pope to the Prophet Mohammad.The best way to honor the 12 killed and stand up for free speech was to print the cartoons again.Even staunch defenders of free speech may be alarmed that #Jesuiskouachi – identifying with the brothers who were the assailants in the Charlie Hebdo attack – has become a Twitter hashtag.Charlie Hebdo once depicted a black government minister as a monkey, and in 2012, amid an uproar over an anti-Muslim film, the magazine published drawings of Mohammad naked and in demeaning or pornographic poses.As the free speech debate rages, one thing seems clear – Charlie Hebdo has not been silenced.Before the attack, Charlie Hebdo sold fewer than 100,000 copies a week.
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