By Swaha Pattanaik
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.
Last week, when I attended my first rally in Dresden organized by PEGIDA, Germany’s mysterious “anti-Islamization” movement, I was reminded of the aggressive pro-Russian protests that tore apart eastern Ukraine a year ago. Thousands of demonstrators, who mostly refused to talk to the “lying press,” listened to fiery speeches railing against the country’s political class. Among the German flags present, I also spotted a few Russian ones, including a banner that was split diagonally, one half Russia’s tricolor, the other half Germany’s. A reporter and cameraman from the Gazprom-owned NTV channel were greeted with welcoming calls of “Vladimir! Vladimir!”
In the aftermath of 9/11, the biggest fear that haunted U.S. counter-terrorism officials was that al-Qaeda or its allies would somehow get hold of a weapon of mass destruction: a biological agent or a nuclear bomb.
What follows the slaughter of the senior staff of the Parisian satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo will be a test of the depth of Europe's liberal instincts. The weekly paper, run by journalists with the real courage of their convictions, has done more than its duty for freedom of the press. It falls to Europeans to display their attachment to other pillars of a free society: the rule of law, the observance of democratic norms, the display of tolerance and nondiscrimination.
The brutal attack that took place in Paris Wednesday on the headquarters of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, leaving at least 12 dead and more than 20 injured, could lead to dreadful consequences.
The outpouring in reaction to the killing of 12 in an attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris -- known for its cartoons that took on politicians and religious figures, including the Prophet Mohammad -- was spontaneous and pointed. Below is a sampling of some of the cartoons that are being shared on Twitter, most with the hashtag #jesuischarlie -- I am Charlie.
Drained and delegitimized by the Syrian civil war, penetrated by Israeli intelligence and separated from traditional allies, the Lebanese group Hezbollah’s self-proclaimed glory days of 2006, when it went to war with Israel, have never seemed so distant.