Major news anchors reported the action second by second. They replayed video footage of two hooded gunmen executing a French police officer followed by reports of other connected attacks and images of deployed French counter-terrorism units. The unfolding drama quickly created an atmosphere of panic, even in places far away from where the incident of Charlie Hebdo took place. The sequence of events also gave birth to a global support movement. Among the vast crowds coming out in French cities, international state high officials marched alongside President François Hollande ostensibly to defend freedom of speech, express their unity in the fight against Islamic radicalism and demonstrate readiness to crack down on global jihad. This fast-paced sequence of events left little room for reason or reflective thinking in France and other locations in Europe. Emotions, understandably, were riding high. After all, the hideous attacks sought more than just reaping the lives of the cartoonists for lampooning Islam, mocking its symbols, and ridiculing its followers. The attacks on Charlie Hebdo meant to execute a memorable “performance of terror,” to send a strong message to the French Republic and the Judeo- Christian Western world. Convinced that they, righteous and pious, are ordained by God to rid the world of the blasphemous West, the attackers understood their own struggle in global and religious terms, a clash of civilizations and a war between good and evil.
"Terror in the French Republic: Competing Performances of Social Justice,"
Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum: Vol. 6
, Article 3.
Available at: https://trace.tennessee.edu/catalyst/vol6/iss1/3