As I write in the afternoon of January 7, the aftermath of the attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is unfolding.

RMC’s presenters have diverted their normal talk radio shows to follow the story. The Wikipedia article says (emphases mine):

at least two gunmen opened fire at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, killing at least 12 (including two police officers), and seriously wounding at least 5. It was reported one of the police officers was executed with a gunshot to head. The gunmen were armed with guns and a rocket-propelled grenade, shouting “we have avenged the prophet” as they attacked.[17]

Associated Press reported the incident was France’s deadliest terror attack in at least two decades.[4]

Charlie Hebdo was not shy about exercising freedom of speech. The paper featured caricatures of Islam’s prophet in 2006, 2011 and 2012.

The paper’s editor, Charb, had police protection in recent years. Today, he is dead, along with his colleagues, cartoonists Georges Wolinski, Cabu and Tignous.

It is difficult to know what to say other than pray for the families and friends of those so brutally murdered and also for the victims who are fighting for their lives in hospital.

However, when the various attacks in Sydney, Glasgow and a number of French cities took place in December 2014, someone said to me, ‘They’re just madmen, nothing more. Am I supposed to draw a conclusion from this?’

Mere madmen — in the name of religion or otherwise — can do a lot of calculated damage.

Stop the madness!