Friday the 13th is a date that many fear despite nothing ever seeming to happen to them on that day. However, France will never forget this date that fell in 2015. Attacks outside their national football stadium and a popular bar in the capital, along with the truly chilling hostage situation at the Bataclan Theatre brought the country’s worst scenes of violence since the second World War, with over 130 dead and 300 people injured.
With heartbreak, what always follows is who is there to blame. The obvious culprits are ISIS, although nothing has been confirmed from either side, with rumours coming out that it was done to incite hatred of Muslims therefore making them easier to radicalise against what seems to be a common enemy. We must remember this is what the terrorists want to happen; we can’t let it be the case. Reports of a fire on the Calais Jungle refugee camp was a horrible indication of with fear, brings hatred and hatred just brings more violence. Was it a Muslim child’s fault all those people died? A Muslim child who had spent months trying to escape the terrorism that seemed to follow its shadow? No. But they were the closest thing that the naïve and angry could find to blame and this is not the way it should be.
The people trying to escape the violence in their own country are the perfect example of those that argue against the above posts on social media. The refugee crisis could act as an easy way for terrorists to slip people across borders but that does not mean you can blame everyone for radical decisions. They were born into a religion that, whether by choice or due to the fact it is all they know, gives them the guidelines to how they should live. The same guidelines that many religions are based upon; kindness to all. However, like with most other methods of worship (yes even squeaky clean Christianity is a bastard) those who want more power have corrupted it for their own means. Members of ISIS have connections with the religion of Islam, if you argue they do not you are wrong, but they bend and twist it so much for their own profit that it is no longer recognisable. This needs to be known for us to fight back.
And of course whilst we look for the light amongst the darkness we must remember our own part to play in all this. British arms dealers continue to sell weapons to countries in the middle east despite thousands of orders going “missing” with no real investigation. It is a billion pound industry for the Western countries, France included, but why would we put extra sanctions on it when it means pissing off the wrong people? Instead our leaders stand up and say how sorry they are, when in this case there isn’t much foreign policy to stand in the way of making a difference, just stop sending them bullets.
But there is hope, there always is, and that is what really is great about the world. Of course you have to search through all the self righteous crap on social media of people showing “support” and dodge all the media spins telling us who is at fault and why but there is always something good. The restaurant owners who let in dozens of students before throwing their shutters down. The taxi drivers who zoomed round the city picking up the injured for free and delivering them to safety. The aid workers who fought off the racists trying to blame the helpless refugees. The world is not all bad, we just need to stay good to remind everyone that.