When free speech was attacked, it only inspired more free speech

(Courtesy of Rob Tornoe)

Cartoonists around the world reacted to the January 7 terror attack at the office of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris by publishing their own images showing support and solidarity with the 12 journalists and police officers who were killed.

Rather than endorsing Charlie Hebdo’s controversial views, this outpouring of support and the popular #JeSuisCharlie campaign paid tribute to the cause of free speech that the victims died for.

To supporters of free speech, people can be stupid, offensive, hurtful, or otherwise objectionable, but they should not be killed, imprisoned or threatened because of it.

“Nothing justifies violence, nothing justifies hatred, and nothing should stand in the way of freedom of expression,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said January 13.

Mashable and Buzzfeed have collected some of the cartoonists’ images, meant to reinforce the statement “the pen is mightier than the sword.”