The Charlie Hebdo massacre is awful.
Awful because it represents the worse of some people may do. Whatever their faith or political ideology, hurting or killing people people that »offended » you or is crass and a sign that you are a coward.
Awful because it’s a proof of how some people may think that the sword is mighter than the pen.
Awful because the people working at Charlie Hebdo had a great role in society which is that their job was to be satirists. They were professional jestors, and they were doing well by using satire on everyone. Muslims, Christians, Jews, Blacks, Whites, Asians, politicians, they take a laugh at all sides and it’s a good thing. I agree that some cartoons are funnier than others, but who really cares? Their power is to make you laugh, think or start a conversation. This is their job.
Sadly, it is very difficult for a publication like Charlie Hebdo to survive even in some western liberal democraties before of lawsuits or of things such as human Rights tribunals which make self-censorship a viable option for those who don’t have unlimited funds.
This is exactly why free speech is important, because without free speech (even for people you hate) how could you communicate any other liberty?