This month, multiple co-ordinated attacks in Paris left 130 dead and over 300 others wounded. In the immediate aftermath, the overwhelming majority of people united in their support for the French people, with love and defiance encompassing all races, religions, and continents. Citizens around the world utilized social media to connect and communicate their own messages of peace. With countless Parisians disoriented and flooding the streets following the
terrorist attacks, nearby residents posted the hashtag #PorteOuverte, or #OpenDoor, to communicate their willingness to provide shelter for the needy. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people shared their grief with the hashtag #JeSuisParis, coupled with hordes of Facebook users adding french-flag filters to their profile pictures. Iconic monuments, including as the White House, the Empire State Building, and the Colosseum, were illuminated with stripes of red, white, and blue. Suffice it to say, in the aftermath of these attacks, the global community was unwavering in both its solidarity with the French people and its strengthened resolve in dismantling the Islamic State.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy for certain governments and their people to fall into ignorance. As the perpetrators of these assaults were extremists who worship their own perverted version of Islam, numerous conservative governments and their people have associated these attacks with an underlying problem of Islam itself, using these terrorists as a buffer to block Syrian refugees that are fleeing persecution from those very same extremists. In the United States, the US House of Representatives passed the American SAFE Act of 2015, a bill that would expands background checks for Iraqi and Syrian refugees. Here in Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau and his liberal government have faced concerns regarding the volume of refugees that are being let into Canada, with the opposition citing the safety of Canadians and inadequate security screening.
All in all, the public has been essentially unanimous in their support for France and their condemnation of the massacre, often using social media to voice their concerns.
By: Mack Blydt-Hansen