Many of you will have already heard about the traumatic terrorist attacks that occurred last night in Paris.
I thought I was having a terrible day myself. After being unable to motivate myself or do anything useful towards my university degree, I proceeded to get the completely wrong times for my seminar, meaning I had hung around my university campus for four hours with absolutely no reason. I had no idea how selfish, ridiculous and petty my problems were in the grand scheme of things.
Returning from date night with Charlie, I browsed through my Instagram to see my whole feed was flooded with pictures of Paris, something I hadn’t seen since the Charlie Hebdo incident back in January. Confused and my stomach turning, I opened the BBC website and my heart filled with horror when I saw the bold headline ‘TERRORIST ATTACK IN PARIS”. I was truly shaken to the core. What the hell is happening to this world?
When the city of light and love is terrorised, how do you react?
I guess some people need to place blame. Of course, there is someone to blame. But those people aren’t Muslims. You are irrational and ridiculous if you point to a Muslim and place blame on them. They were not in Paris. They may have never seen a bomb. They do not have anything to do with extremism. RACISM IS EXACTLY WHY WE ARE IN THIS SITUATION IN THE FIRST PLACE. These terrorist attacks have happened because people cannot deal with the fact that we are free, we are different, WE DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN THE SAME SOCIETY AS THEM AND WE HAVE NO INTENTION OF DOING SO. One of my best friends in the entire world is a Muslim and she is the kindest, most thoughtful person I have ever met. She is one of, if not the last person I would ever associate with terrorism and I can guarantee that other non-extreme Muslims are as horrified if not more horrified that someone who calls themselves a Muslim can cause such tragedy.
So how should we react?
In times of trouble, we need to stand together. This is not an ‘each for their own’ situation. If we do not work together we might as well have targets stuck to our backs. ISIS and other extremism groups do not want us to work together.
Who is us?
Us, is the entire world. I guess I’m being very controversial when I say this, but Paris was one of the easier targets for a terrorist attack. With the Charlie Hebdo attack happening early this year, it is easy for Paris and France to question ‘Why us? Why not somewhere else? Haven’t we dealt with enough?’ France can be angry with the rest of the world and they are completely entitled to be, it isn’t fair that this has happened to them again and they could shut off the rest of the world but they won’t because they know the whole world is standing right be their side.
The City of Light and Love, should not fear. When it feels like there is no light or love remember Martin Luther King’s wise words, “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
If you want to help, use the hashtag #PorteOuverte so that people in Paris can find safety in the homes of kind Parisians opening their doors to help. You can also donate to:
Tout le monde est derrière vous Paris, nous sommes avec vous.
We are all thinking of Paris, but do not forget to pray for Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, the Syrian Refugees in Calais who are all also unsure of their future. All of them are living in fear of terrorism and hatred. Paris is close to home, but we must remember those who are not too.