Dutch papers on the Charlie Hebdo killings: ‘An attack on democracy’

dutch newspapers Charlie Hebdo.jpgThe attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris dominated the front pages of all the Dutch newspapers on Thursday.

The Telegraaf declared the shooting a ‘bloody attack on our freedom’. ‘Barbaric believers who want to destroy us should be fought against and removed using every available resource,’ the paper said. ‘We owe it to ourselves to defend the free word at any price. We will not let ourselves be made afraid.’

NRC.next carried a Charlie Hebdo magazine on its front page showing a Muslim man and a cartoonist kissing, with the text ‘love is stronger than hate’. The AD headlined its front page ‘We are all Charlie’ with a photograph of the Paris demonstrations.


The front page of the Netherlands’ only financial newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad was devoted to editorial on the attack, headlined ‘civil courage’.

Inside, in an analysis, the paper asked ‘does our open, diverse and democratic society’ still have the capacity to put opinions and convictions into perspective – something which is crucial to ‘avoid becoming imprisoned by dogma, polarisation and extremism’.

‘Charlie Hebdo is, in France, an essential link in the democratic process of forming opinions. It provoked every form of authority … and does not allow itself to be intimidated by earlier attacks and continual threats.’

Muslim extremism in Europe is now something other than a man with a beard in a cave in Pakistan, the paper said. ‘It has the face of Isis fighters, girls and boys who went to school here and who have been fired up by a vague ideal, frustration, a desire for adventure or who simply want to be someone other than a castaway in a run-down European neighbourhood…’

Terrorism wants to achieve its aims by violence and Wednesday’s actions were that of executioners, the paper said. ‘They want to destablise and polarise.’


‘The suspicions about Islam exploited by the Front National of Marine Le Pen and her father are being further fueled… This is why the attack in Paris is a signal to politicians to look further than their initial reflexes… Most EU countries are very complex societies on an individual level and even more so in terms of their alliance,’ the FD said.

‘The existence of a large and homogenous middle class as a social reservoir and reserve of wealth against decay and degradation is disappearing or is under pressure… Every day the European is confronted with new streams of refugees, including those from places which have been turned into hell by the same extremists and jihadis experts tell us are coming back to do the same here.

‘What price is our society prepared to pay to reduce the risks of terrorism? Even if price is no object, they are never to be ruled out entirely. Charlie Hebdo had police protection. The result was more violence. Will media companies have be protected by security gates, concrete barricades and barbed wire? Should we not have a European security service? Big Brother can now see the opportunities.’

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