Free speech shouldn’t stir violence | The Triangle

Free speech shouldn’t stir violence

By the time most of us woke up Jan. 6, 12 people in Paris had died as a result of a terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical news magazine similar to The Onion. It is believed three men carried out the attack in response to the magazine publishing “offensive” cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Journalists, cartoonists, writers, artists, politicians and the everyday person took to social media to extend sympathies for those involved with the tragedy. Even more so, these people expressed outrage of fighting a pen with a gun, of trying to hinder the basic liberty of freedom of speech, of thinking that Charlie Hebdo would give in.

Although France has a history of censorship by the government, in the modern day French writers have freedom of speech. It is important now more than ever to be able to freely express your opinions. It’s through this open discussion that progress can be made in any society.

At The Triangle, we are one of the few but fortunate student newspapers that are not censored by their respective university. Maintaining our independent status is always a priority for our organization as it permits us to report on stories we believe are in the best interest of our audience and take a stance on the issues at hand.

However, with Drexel being a diverse institution, it is impossible to please everyone. We have had to offer our own apologies to members of the community when we unintentionally caused offense. As a newspaper we try to report only the facts. The only section that has bias is the opinion and editorial section. We do not try to offend on purpose; rather this section is the one place that we let our writers express themselves.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; it is a human right. What one group finds offensive, another finds humorous, while another is indifferent. We have all been angered by something we read in a newspaper, a Facebook post, or even in a textbook. Even though we are angry and upset, that does not give us the right to justify any wrong by taking the life of another. However, the Charlie Hebdo attackers believed their course of action to be best suited for the situation.

For the rest of us that are not as cruel hearted or cowardly, choose a more productive approach. Share your offences with the creator, explain your reasoning and work from there. But while doing this, please, consider the source and intent of the publisher.