Paris- Terrorism and Immigration

Monday, November 16, 2015 Emily Childers 0 Comments

Like most, my heart is broken for Paris. I know there's enough negative attention being paid to the situation already, but I feel like I have to get this out. So here goes nothing.

The coordinated attacks (assumed to be perpetrated by ISIS/ISIL) killed over 120 people and left countless wounded. There aren't words to describe the horror that pulls at my gut. The world is reeling.

In the wake of a tragedy that feels so senseless, the hurt continues to deepen. The media is full of knee jerk reactions placing blame on immigrants, Muslims, and the EU's open border policies. US states are refusing Syrian refugees. I understand that these are emotional reactions, but that doesn't soften their sting. The attacks were perpetrated by less than 10 and the identities and nationalities of most are still unknown. Per a 2010 study, there were 1.6 billion practicing Muslims in the world. According to the UN there are over 3 million Syrian refugees seeking asylum outside of their own country, and 6.5 million displaced within it. It is not fair to judge so many on the crimes of so few.

In a country built by immigrants (and in a world where immigration has been proven to improve the economy) I would have hoped for a more empathetic reaction. As an American I don't want to be judged by the terrorism of Timothy McVeigh. As a person of German descent I don't want to be judged by the bloodlust of Heinrich Himmler.

An acquaintance on Facebook re-posted a rant calling for his state to follow in the footsteps of Texas and refuse Syrian refugees. He added another fracture to my broken heart. The mass majority of Syrian refugees are honest people fleeing terrorism in the country they were born to. Now that terrorism has once again leaked out of the middle east and into the perceived safety of the west, an international response is to be expected. I just hope that the response is to the perpetrators of the attacks and not to the victims of their expansion.

Obviously I'm not an expert on international policy or immigration. I just hope that the world keeps an open mind and strives towards empathy instead of hatred. It's hatred that got us here in the first place.