Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) issued a statement in response to Wednesday’s deadly terrorist attack at the offices of the the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 lives were brutally taken. Rep. Royce expressed how the “disturbing” incident was a direct attack on free speech, which he described as a main “pillar of the civilized world.”
He also drew attention to the growing dangers inherent of the jihadist ideology that were illustrated in Wednesday’s deadly assault:
I join in strongly condemning today’s disturbing terrorist attack in Paris – one of the great cites of the world. I want to express my condolences to the families of the newspaper staff and police officers who were killed. For years, the U.S. and France have had close cooperation in combating terrorism. In Europe, France is at the front lines of a dangerous and growing jihadist ideology that again demonstrated today that it knows no bounds. Sadly, this is not the first time terrorists have attacked this satirical newspaper for exercising free speech–a pillar of the civilized world. Today’s brutality is another crude reminder of the terrorist threat to all those living in free societies.
This was not the first time Charlie Hebdo has been attacked. In 2011, the satirical publication was firebombed after it published an issue which poked fun at the Prophet Muhammad and Islam. The magazine’s Editor in Chief, Stéphane Charbonnier, 47, had received several death threats in the past and was living under police protection.
Two years ago, Charbonnier defiantly explained why he would not bow to pressure from Western heads of state who urged him to discontinue publishing cartoons criticizing Islam. “I prefer to die standing than to live on my knees,” he said.