Three Things to Bear in Mind about the Paris Attacks

  1. It’s not about religion. I am old enough to remember the IRA attacks in the seventies. I remember British shopping centres being bombed every year just before Christmas, just when they were full of shoppers getting ready for the festive season. I don’t remember anybody suggesting that Catholicism was a religion of war, or that the bible incited murder. In the same way, these attacks are nothing to do with Islam even if those who carry them out claim to be Muslims. Of course anybody can take a quote from the Qur’an and twist its meaning just as anyone can take a line from the bible and do the same.
  2. It’s not just about Paris. People are being brutally murdered all over the world every day. So far in 2015 there have been more than 300 mass shooting in the USA. That’s more than one a day. The day before the Paris shootings, a terrorist attack took place in Beirut, but was not widely reported by the media. In Syria civilians are being murdered in bomb attacks every day. Western governments are not averse to going and blowing up innocent civilians when it suits their interests.
  3. It’s not about refugees. It has been reported that a Syrian passport was found next to one of the terrorists, and it showed that the terrorist had travelled through Greece last month. How convenient that he happened to have his passport with him when he carried out the attack and it happened to be found right next to his dead body. Some people have been using this alleged fact to support their own agendas. Close the borders, they cry. These people are not refugees but terrorists, they say. What they are forgetting is that the refugees are fleeing from Islamic State. they are not Islamic State. And they are also forgetting the reasons why so many people are feeing Syria. It is, in part, as a result of the West’s intervention.

So by all means pray for Paris. But pray also for the whole world, because humanity could do with a prayer or two right now. Condemn this act of war, but condemn all acts of war too, no matter who the perpetrators might be.

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