One hundred and twenty nine lives were brutally ended in the Paris attacks.
One hundred and twenty nine people whose potential to enjoy, influence and enrich the human experience was suddenly taken away in a deliberate and shockingly violent manner.
The solidarity being shown with the victims of these attacks is important and necessary. Solidarity with the victims of similar attacks in places such as Beirut and Yemen is equally as important and necessary.
Without doubt, racist and bigoted individuals and organizations will use this situation to further incite hatred and fear against the likes of migrants and refugees and particularly Muslims. We must understand and accept that that forces like IS who have now claimed responsibility, do want to establish a fearful division between the majority of Muslims and the majority of non-Muslims. That being said we must definitely not accept that the onus on ourselves as anti-racists to defend and stand in solidarity with Muslims and other immigrants is diminished in any way but is actually more acute.
Violent acts and campaigns of terror have been a consistent feature of life for years now in places such as the Middle East and parts of Africa. While we must not seek to diminish the impact of the Paris events we should highlight the fact that events in other places are just as horrific and inexcusable. These include the very recent slaughter of 43 people in Beirut and the massacre of 147 people in Kenya last April. Between 8 July and 27 August 2014, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip while the death toll of ordinary people in so-called incidents in the Occupied Palestine Territories of the West Bank continues to rise as does the death toll of people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Africa and heading for the relative safety of Europe.
The conflicts these people are fleeing are directly related to actions in those areas by western forces and interests. These including bombings by air forces, some of whose planes are emblazoned with the very tricolour emblem that people are now using on social media to show solidarity with the Paris victims.
It is a demonstrable fact that our mainstream media places more value on the lives of of innocent westerners as they do on equally innocent people from other parts of the world. Often these people are fleeing and suffering from brutalities unleashed as a result of interventions in those regions by the destabilising forces of the western war machine. This is the war machine which our leaders and media will do their best to justify in coming days while attentions may be diverted away from their role in the disaster that is the “new world order”.
We must do what we can to show our solidarity with all the victims of all the terror and work harder to root out the underlying causes of that terror.