Refugee Backlash After Paris Attacks
On the evening of Friday 13th 2015 Paris was the target for a horrific act of terrorism. Gunmen and suicide bombers armed with AK-47s hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars, almost simultaneously – leaving at least 129 people dead and hundreds wounded.
“Three co-ordinated teams” carried out the attack. A team of 3 suicide bombers detonated their vests outside the Stade de France stadium on the northern fringe of Paris where France were playing Germany in an international football friendly.
Another team of 2 gunmen hit Le Carillon bar and then a restaurant across the street called Le Petit Cambodge. The same team, travelling in a black Seat car, then appear to have hit Cafe Bonne Biere and La Casa Nostra pizzeria in Rue de la Fontaine au Roi. They then hit La Belle Equipe bar in the Rue de Charonne.
The deadliest attack came at a concert venue called the Bataclan where 89 people lost their lives. Words cannot aptly describe the outrage and anger felt around the world and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this despicable act of violence.
As events played out and more information came to light about the perpetrators of the attack, the backlash against refugees started in earnest. The migrant camp in Calais was set ablaze, right-wing politicians started to call for shutting down borders and the hate on blogs and social media was palpable. The fact that so far 5 of the attackers have been identified as French nationals is just a minor detail that gets in the way of thinly-veiled bigotry. One of the attackers was identified by a severed finger and a convenient dropped, bomb proof passport. He appears to have travelled into Europe via Greece with a fake Syrian passport. If this is true it is indeed troubling as ISIS is using the refugee crisis to smuggle operatives into Europe. Does this mean the world should turn its back on 4 million Syrian refugees? Those 4 million refugees are fleeing ISIS and the ISIS propaganda machine has been using migrant tragedies to discourage refugees from leaving the country for months.
American Political Backlash
America had committed to resettling a mere 10,000 Syrian refugees (remember there are 4 million). But as of writing this article 31 state governors have stated they will block any attempts to resettle refugees in their states. Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, himself the son of a refugee, plans to introduce legislation to ban Syrian Muslims from entering the U.S. Syrians Christians however, would be allowed in.
These people are ignorant of the diversity of Islam and are painfully uneducated of the realities on the ground in Syria. Never mind that Muslims have been primary targets and victims of Islamic State violence and oppression in Syria—and that they have suffered profoundly from the general chaos that has developed in that country. Never mind that Muslims and Christians are fleeing Syria to escape the sort of carnage that Paris has now experienced.
It is hard not to draw parallels with the antisemitism and hysteria in the US before and during Word War II when many Jewish refugees were denied asylum in the U.S. amid fears there might be spies among them. In an infamous and shameful incident in 1940, a cruise ship called the St Louis carrying over 900 Jewish refugees from Germany was denied entry into the U.S. and forced to return to Western Europe where hundreds of the passengers were then killed in the Holocaust.
Playing into Daesh’s hands
A large part of Daesh’s strategy is to ferment fear of Islam. They want countries in the West to reject and vilify their Muslim populations. If they can make Muslims the enemy of the West, Muslims around the world will have nowhere to turn but to Daesh. They want nothing more than to start World War III, a war between Muslims and everyone else, with Daesh being the spearhead. If we turn our backs on the millions of refugees fleeing a war that is arguably at least the fallout of failed interventionist policy in the Middle East, and at most a direct result, we are helping Daesh achieve its goals. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, any political hack that doesn’t want to help and any social media user that posts a dumb anti-Muslim meme is HELPING Daesh. It’s time to stand up and refuse to be manipulated by these bastards.
Watch Obama destroy Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz for their plan to have a ‘religious test’ for refugees