Western Politics Changed with the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

A man holds a giant pencil as he takes part in a citizens solidarity march in the streets of Paris, France, January 11, 2015. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)
Five years later, we still have not grappled with the implications.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F ive years ago this week, the Saïd and Chérif Kouachi brothers walked into the offices of the illustrated French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire with Kalashnikovs. This act itself was brutal and disgusting. And it was also absurd: a massacre of a dozen cartoonists and satirists.

But Western politics has been being transformed by this act, and the year it ushered in, 2015, was the year that the Tories won a surprise majority in Parliament, setting in motion the Brexit referendum of 2016. It was the year of Angela Merkel’s statement “We can do it” — when she offered


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