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#JeSuisCharlie: Minnesotans respond to the deadly attack on a French magazine


Minnesota's media outlets and Muslim leaders have joined the worldwide condemnation of the terrorist attacks on a French satirical magazine in Paris.

Twelve people were killed at the Charlie Hebdo offices in the French capital yesterday, as gunmen stormed the magazine armed with AK47s. Five of the magazine's leading cartoonists are among those killed, according to the BBC.

The attack prompted an outpouring of grief and support for the principles of freedom of speech, with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie – which means "I am Charlie" – trending worldwide as the rallying cry of solidarity.

The Star Tribune has had its say, through the newspaper's Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Steve Sack, whose take on the shootings was praised on social media.

Sack is one of many cartoonists around the world who responded, with CNN and Buzzfeed rounding up some of the best cartoons published in the wake of the attack.

The Fargo Forum's features editor Heidi Shaffer was in Paris at the time of the attack, and captured pictures of the response as thousands of people gathered in Place De La Republique in a show of defiance.

In a comment piece, she wrote: "Demonstrators carried signs that read, 'Je suis Charlie.' Others lit candles, laid flowers on the statue at the center of the square or quietly cried. One young Parisian tied a black armband around the statue’s arm.

"But the moment the demonstrators started chanting 'liberte d’expression' reminded me why I went into journalism. We all want to be heard, and we deserve to express the world around us."

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FOX 9 spoke to representatives from Minnesota's Muslim population, who were unanimous in their opposition to the violence, which has been linked to the magazine's previous publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed, even though the magazine has a history of lampooning all faiths.

Local Somali leader Muhammed Abdi told the news station: "People believe something you have to respect. But to kill some people is wrong, no matter what totally wrong."

WCCO spoke to University of Minnesota Media Ethics and Law professor Jane Kirtley, who told the news station the growth of online reporting means journalists are more at risk from extremism as they seek to protect freedom of expression.

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