Swiss dailies condemn Paris terror attack

Malcolm Curtis
Malcolm Curtis - [email protected]
Swiss dailies condemn Paris terror attack

The terror attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine employees in Paris that left 12 people dead dominated the front pages of Swiss newspapers on Thursday.


And editorialists for the papers joined those from journals around the world in condemning the assault with machine guns that killed well-known French cartoonists, artists and journalists from the satirical weekly.

This went beyond a mere massacre of individuals “to assassinate freedom of expression and annihilate the values of democracy”, an editorial in Le Temps said of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, known for its irreverent lampooning of Muslim and other religious extremism.

“The terrorists wanted not only to perpetrate an inhumane act but also to create chaos,” the editorial said.

“What can a pencil do against rocket launchers?”

The editorial went on to say that while democracy is in mourning it should not shy away from the challenges.

“It’s up to all us to show the terrorists who wanted to kill Charlie Hebdo that we are all Charlie.”

Other Swiss newspapers carried editorials with a similar theme.

The German-language Basler Zeitung simply printed the Twitter hashtag #JeSuisCharlie in the centre of its otherwise blank front page.

Le Matin ran a cartoon showed a fist clenching a pencil defiantly rising from a blood-soaked Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Although the circulation of the magazine is small, the publication is widely known in French-speaking Switzerland.


Many newspapers from western Switzerland ran their own cartoons to comment on the attack.

Chapatte, cartoonist for Le Temps, sketched one for the front page of the paper that shows a gravestone cross inscribed with with the words “Morts de rire” (they died laughing).

The Paris attack was also widely covered — and condemned editorially — by German-language newspapers in Switzerland.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung urged a “constitutionally correct” response to the assassinations through the rule of law and not through bloodthirsty revenge.

Many commentators expressed concern that tensions between the West and the Islamic world would be further exacerbated by the terror attack.


“The extermination of a newspaper office in the middle of Europe is a new sad and climax to the brutal policies of extremist Koran followers,” a commentary in the Basler Zeitung said.

“It is a frontal attack on the freedom of expression, the heart of Western culture.”

The Blick tabloid took a similar position, headlining an “attack on freedom”.

The killings were an attack on the values of the West — “liberalism and individualism, democracy and press freedom,” the newspaper said in an editorial.


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