The attack on Paris was the most violent attack on France since WWII and included simultaneous incidents in various locations. There were suicide bombings, explosions, shootings and hostage taking. Friday the 13. It was carefully planned and executed. Just like 9-1-1 had been.
In the wake of the event, I want to take this moment to urge my fellow man to be careful about how they treat one another. Fear is one of the strongest motivators and what the Militants are trying to do is just that: make us afraid of one another.
Already, Saturday, shortly after the news broke, I could see it happen. The hate is growing. Like a silent killer, like a cancer, it’s eating us up, making us paranoid, dividing us. Immediately, the retaliation ensued. I saw it first hand, while at Walmart on Saturday. A Muslim woman was walking in the food isle, looking for Halal meat. She was wearing a Hijab. People were looking at her wrong, giving her suspicious looks, as if she was somehow connected to what had happened. I felt so very sorry for her.
The entire Muslim community is now looked under scrutiny, targeted by intolerant people who don’t know the difference between Muslim and radical Islamic / Jihadist or ISIS. A Peterborough Mosque was set on fire. Videos vowing to kill Muslims, recorded by Canadians, are being circulated over the internet. Everywhere in Ontario, incidents of bullying, beatings even, are being reported. Women are told to not walk alone at night in the streets of Toronto. Such hatred coming from Canadians, who are known around the world for their compassion and tolerance, is shameful. Just. Plain. Shameful.
Isn’t it ironic that the very people who oppose Islam, the ones who deem it to be an archaic religion that oppresses women, the ones who vowed to stand up for Muslim women’s rights, end up being the ones terrorizing them?WE are becoming the terrorists proving that terrorism has no religion. Shame on us!
Many are calling for Prime Minister Trudeau to close our door to Syrian Refugees. 30 American Senators have closed their borders to future intake. They somehow think that the refugees are responsible for the attacks in Paris when in fact, these attackers, these terrorists are the reason the refugees are running in the first place. These people are men, women, children just like you, whose lives have been completely destroyed by ISIS. They held jobs, went to school, had families, drove cars, socialized, just like you. Now, they are separated. Torn apart. Children sleep in the streets, being cared for by relatives or even sometimes strangers as their parents are gone. How can we NOT open our doors!
Yes, it is undeniable that there is a risk associated with letting them in, just as there is a risk with every single immigrant we welcome. The UNHCR has done some initial vetting, by using biometrics, including retinal screening, of those it registers, to check if anyone has fought in the Syrian civil war or has ties with extremist groups , which would exclude them from consideration. It’s doing a good job.
Out of the four million who have been placed in communities around the world, one may (or may not) have been proven to be one of the terrorists in the Paris attacks. He also may just have had a forged Syrian passport. To my knowledge, and I’ve tried and tried to find another instance, this is the only record or a known terrorist injected from the Syrian refugee base. One out of four million. Isn’t it worth the risk?
The Syrian crisis is the worst humanitarian crisis the world has ever seen. This is World War II, only on a much bigger scale and with potential for much more damage. And again, the world is watching and letting it happen. What is wrong with us? Open your hearts , people!
ISIS is accomplishing exactly what it set out to. The attack on Paris was but a means to an end. Our country was already divided on the topics of refugees, Islam, Muslims, Isis, the QUR’AN. Now, the division grows bigger. The attacks solidified our positions, separating us from one another a little bit more. We don’t understand how Canadians, our very people, can possibly have such a different view from the one we hold. We think each other crazy or stupid. We dislike our fellow neighbor a little more, placing them on “the other side” of the argument. If they are not for us, surely they are against us, therefore, for the enemy. We start seeing them as such, hate them a little, even. Given enough time, this hate will grow. Psychological warfare at its best; Isis is using us as their weapon of choice. And from looking at my newsfeed as of late, it’s working. Very. Very. Well.
Before you say something ignorant or do something stupid, remember. Making the wrong group accountable for something they didn’t do is not a solution. It’s actually the main part of the problem. Nobody despises ISIS more than Muslims. Now more than ever, we need to coexist. We need to be tolerant, compassionate, loving and understanding. Have we already forgotten the image of the Syrian child laying dead
on the shores of Europe?
If we destroy human rights and rule of law in the response to terrorism, they have won. –Joichi Ito
“How do you defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized.” -Salman Rushdi