My opinion on Charlie Hebdo is summed up well by this quote from Canadian rock musician Matthew Good in the song Advertising on Police Cars:
One day you’ll wake up and they’ll be
advertising on police cars
and your death will sell you out
as someone smart,
That the people associated with Charlie Hebdo were killed is a tragedy. Saying the editors should have known better and blaming them is a violation of free speech.
The content of the magazine, however, is far from beyond reproach. While I’ll support the right to do it, I will not agree that mocking and insulting people is smart business. I do not support what Charlie Hebdo did in publishing the pictures it published, I only support its right to do so.
The common response to this act has been to say “Je suis Charlie” – well, I am not Charlie, but I do mourn for the people who were killed. I hope not only for a world in which people don’t kill other people over such things, but also a world in which openly mocking others for the sake of a laugh or profit is considered below the acceptable standard.