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Jakarta Post

'€˜Je suis Charlie'€™

  • Bagus Saragih and Dicky Christanto

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 9, 2015   /  09:12 am
'€˜Je suis Charlie'€™

After the attack: People gather for the victims of a terror attack on the offices of a satirical magazine in Paris on Wednesday. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, killing 12 people, including the paper'€™s editor, before escaping in a car. It was France'€™s deadliest terror attack in living memory. AP/Thibault Camus

Indonesia has joined the ranks of the world'€™s nations in condemning the brutal shootings at the office of a satirical magazine in Paris that killed 12 people including two policemen, three cartoonists and the weekly'€™s chief editor.

Witness accounts and other indications have led to the presumption that the attackers were Islamist militants, prompting concerns from religious leaders that the incident could lead to growing anti-Muslim sentiment.

'€œIndonesia strongly condemns the attack. Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims,'€ Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi told the press at her office on Thursday.

'€œNo form of violence can be accepted. Indonesia supports the efforts by France'€™s authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice,'€ she added.

Wednesday'€™s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, which is known for its anti-religious content, was reportedly perpetrated by two brothers and one other person who were allegedly part of an Islamic fundamentalist group.

The youngest of three French nationals being sought by police turned himself in to the police, an official at the Paris prosecutor'€™s office said on Thursday.

A Reuters correspondent suggested that the three suspects were Said Kouachi, born in 1980, Cherif Kouachi ( 1982 ), both from Paris and Hamyd Mourad ( 1996 ).

Retno said the government had warned all Indonesian citizens overseas, especially in Europe, to be extra careful following the shootings.

Indonesia'€™s Islamic leaders said they objected to the magazines'€™ publications that mocked Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, but insisted that nothing justified violent attacks.

Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman for international relations Muhyiddin Junaidi said that the shootings could '€œharm'€ Muslims around the world.

'€œWe hope the international community will not generalize the attack as part of Islam. We are afraid that it will lead to more intense anti- Muslim feeling,'€ he said, adding that the MUI also condemned the killing as contrary to human and Islamic values.

The worldwide waves of protests against the attack could also send a false message about Islam and give a negative image to the world'€™s Muslims, Junaidi said.

Echoing Junaidi'€™s statement, lawmaker Saleh Partaonan Daulay said that the attack was worth condemning because '€œthe action deviates far from the teachings and values of Islam'€.

'€œReligious communities should not be provoked by the attack in France. Instead, the incident should be used as a trigger to improve inter-religious tolerance,'€ the National Mandate Party (PAN) politician said.

'€œThe perpetrators did not represent the Muslim community even though they reportedly shouted '€˜Allahu akbar'€™ before firing their guns,'€ Saleh added.

The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) also expressed its deep concern over the deadly shooting and called on nations to work hand-in-hand to combat terrorism.

'€œThe PGI supports the efforts to bring the perpetrators of the barbaric attack to justice,'€ PGI executive secretary Jeirry Sumampouw said. '€œTerrorism is the enemy of everyone, regardless of religion.'€

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Ronny Sompie, meanwhile, said that the police were prepared to step up security in front of offices of Indonesian media organizations, particularly those that gave major coverage to terrorism and the Islamic State (IS) group.

Ronny also advised media offices in Indonesia to increase their security, saying that guards must be more vigilant and increase procedures for people or items going into the offices, and recommended the use of security doors.

French police extended a manhunt on Thursday for the two brothers suspected of the killing. Police released photos of the men, calling them '€œarmed and dangerous'€: brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, aged 32 and 34, both of whom were already under surveillance by security services.

The massacre has been met with an emotional and defiant response around the world.

Declaring Thursday a national day of mourning '€” only the fifth in the last 50 years '€” President Francois Hollande called the bloodbath '€œan act of exceptional barbarity'€ and '€œundoubtedly a terrorist attack'€.

Charlie Hebdo is a satirical weekly magazine featuring cartoons, reports, polemics and jokes. According to its late editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, the magazine'€™s editorial viewpoint reflects '€œall components of left-wing pluralism and even abstainers'€.

The newspaper'€™s editor defended publication of the controversial cartoons, saying, '€œWe do caricatures of everyone and above all every week.'€

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