In today’s blog post we will examine to how various countries have responded to the recent tragic events in Paris.
The images that have dominated the headlines for the last week have been truly shocking. Paris, Europe and the World have been shaken by the terrorist attacks that unfurled across the city on Friday. Whilst terrorist attacks have occurred in other countries recently, Paris, where such attacks are fortunately rare, has drawn the attention of the World’s media. Indeed, as Parisians start to come to terms with the events the city’s motto Fluctuat nec mergitur, ‘tossed but not sunk’ seems fitting.
The origin of the terrorists has been one of the many talking points. Ultimately, fears that the terrorists had entered Europe with the mases of refugees have proven to be unfounded. Whilst a passport was found near the stade de France where the fingers prints matched those of a refugee who was registered in Greece some have dismissed it as being fake or planted at the scene.
Since police have investigated further, it has come to light that the origins of the terrorists can be divided between France and Belgium, suggesting that the threat to Europe lies closer to home. Therefore there exists a very tangible fear that refugees will be turned into scapegoats, in turn a risk that could further demonise these people.
What’s more the reaction to the tragic events in Paris is a telling sign of how the EU and other countries view refugees. So far 420,000 have signed a petition calling for the UK government to close its borders and Poland has said that it cannot accept any more refugees from Syria without security guarantees.
However, France has agreed to accept a greater amount of refugees upping its figure of 24,000 in September to 30,000 with President Hollande citing that it was its duty to humanity to do so. Equally so with some state governors are calling for the USA to limit or all out block the number of refugees that the USA accepts. The White House, however, has threatened to veto a bill that would introduce such measures.
In conclusion, whilst it is difficult to ever come to terms with such shocking events it is clear that the issue of refugees is more divisive than ever. In the aftermath of such an event it is our humanity in response to such inhumanity that is the benchmark of our societies. For such maligned refugees the recent attacks further fuel anti refugee rhetoric that deprives the vulnerable of the help and safety that they seek. In fact, turning our backs on those who need our help furthers the agenda of the terrorists as they seek to divide society. Without doubt, showing greater understanding and acceptance may not stop terrorism but will certainly show the united front that they threaten to destroy.