The first million copies have all gone. It’s 9.30am and we’re just back from a trip into town to buy Charlie Hebdo. No joy – it’s sold out.
In our local presse, we managed to reserve a copy for Friday – the Thursday reserves are all booked. One copy each – you can’t buy multiple copies, it’s strictly one per person. In the supermarket, meanwhile, it was all sold out within minutes of the store opening.
The solidarity shown by the French people since this godawful incident is amazingly heartening. The extremists have stuck a fork in the toaster this time, when they kill journalists, police officers and Jews and threaten the civil liberties of an entire nation.
I know that the image on the cover offends some Muslims who have decided it’s Mohammed (although whether it is, is moot, and there is besides a long tradition of depicting the Prophet in Shia Islam – the idea that depictions are and always have been forbidden is simply not true). But I live in a village with a church, whose presence offends me because I am an atheist. I have a friend who is a big fan of Thatcher. We can’t all go around killing one another because we disagree about subjects – offence is something that is taken, not given.