Huckabee: ‘Radical Islam-inspired extremists’ attacked newspaper
© Greg Nash

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said Wednesday’s terrorist attack on a Parisian satirical newspaper should be a “wake-up call” for the U.S. that Americans remain at risk from the forces of “radical Islam.”

ADVERTISEMENT
“This brutal terrorist attack which killed at least a dozen people including police officers, must serve as a wakeup call that Western Civilization continues to face a threat to our very existence from radical Islam-inspired extremists,” the potential 2016 presidential candidate said in a statement provided to The Hill.

"We all must stand firm against violent, totalitarian ideologies which seek to destroy our freedom,” he continued. “Americans and Europeans must start by correctly identifying the problem, not simply wishing it away or trying to appease radicals. While apologists for radical Islam have often confused the issue with claims of 'Islamophobia,' it's well past time for those who truly value liberty and freedom to call their bluff.”

Huckabee announced over the weekend he’d be leaving his show on Fox News to explore a potential presidential run. Few other GOP presidential contenders have weighed in, but Huckabee’s statement includes the strongest condemnation of radical Islam out of those who have.

At least 12 people were killed and three others critically wounded, when gunmen opened fire at the French offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The paper is known for its provocative comics, which often target Islam and other religions.

The paper’s offices were firebombed in 2011, after it published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. On Wednesday, shortly before the latest attack, the paper tweeted a cartoon mocking the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has threatened to attack France and other nations cooperating in the U.S.-led campaign against it.

"Like we've seen in Paris, and at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa several months ago, free societies remain extremely vulnerable to these type of attacks,” Huckabee said. “Law enforcement and intelligence authorities need all the tools they can to help prevent them in the first place. Yet at the end of the day, it's the extremist ideology that must be stopped. We must focus on the right problem."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), another potential Republican presidential candidate, said the attack was further evidence the U.S. must continue to take the war on terror seriously.

“The attack in Paris is another reminder of the horrific evil that terrorists are capable of and that we must stop at nothing to eliminate these threats,” he said in a statement. “The fact that these terrorists targeted members of the press shows their contempt for the freedom of expression and the values of a free society.

"The war on terror is real and these threats need to be confronted and destroyed for freedom to prosper,” Jindal added. “The U.S. should work closely with the French government to track down those who are responsible for today's act of terror and eliminate all those involved."

Ben Carson, a Tea Party favorite who is also weighing a run for the White House, said the attack was the reminder of the importance of the freedom of the press.

“Here we go again! When will the world finally awaken to the menacing brutality of this continued behavior?” Carson asked in a statement to The Hill. “The terrorist attack in Paris is an absolute tragedy and my most sincere condolences are extended to the families and the Government of Paris. This brutal attack is truly disheartening and it is my hope that Americans reinforce its commitment, through whatever means are necessary, to France through this difficult time. Let us also remember that freedom of press is a pivotal concept that the free world must continue to protect.”