Professor tweets defense of French terrorist attack, blames ‘hate speech'

Adam Kotsko called the magazine a "a newspaper devoted to hate speech" and compared it to Westboro Baptist Church.

A humanities professor took to social media to say the terrorist attack on a satirical French magazine wasn't surprising due to its content.

Twelve people were left dead after two gunmen shot several staff members of Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine, but according to a humanities professor, the attack was warranted as the journalists belonged to “a newspaper devoted to hate speech.”

Adam Kotsko, an assistant professor at Shimer College, a private liberal arts school in Chicago, tweeted that the terrorist attack was not surprising due to the magazine’s satirical and oftentimes controversial content.

“It’s no more surprising that someone would attack a newspaper devoted to hate speech than someone would beat up Westboro pastors,” Kotsko said in a tweet which has since been deleted.


“I don’t ‘support’ attacking a hate-paper or beating up Westboro adherents, but Jesus Christ people!” Kotsko, who received a Ph.D in theology, ethics, and culture from Chicago Theological Seminary, also tweeted.

Among those killed Wednesday morning in Paris were several popular Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, the magazine’s editor, and a police officer who allegedly pleaded for his life before being shot. Islamic extremists are apparently behind the attack on the magazine which has garnered death threats in the past from its content.

Soon after, Kotsko apologized on Twitter, saying he chose “the wrong example to make a general point.”

“I shot off before I fully understood the situation,” Kotsko said.

Kotsko blamed “right-wing nutjobs of every variety” for the backlash he’s received from his tweet.

The professor also expressed on Twitter that his views and tweets are not representative of Shimer College.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn