At least 128 people have died and around 180 were injured last night in Paris in a series of carefully planned and coordinated attacks. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing Paris as “the capital of abomination and perversion, the one that carries the banner of the cross in Europe.”
I don’t think anybody was surprised by the fact the horrors in Paris were committed by the Islamic State. We all guessed early on that it must be behind it, because, who else in this day and age still goes on insane crusades?
Isis said the carnage in Paris last night was “a holy attack facilitated by Allah” as if anybody in their right mind could ever think that fear and horror can, or should be, associated with God and religion.
Insanity is the only word that can describe “this”. What happened in Paris yesterday could have happened anywhere. It wasn’t just the French that were attacked, it was Democracy, Liberty, Equality.
As I was reminded last night of how low humanity can sink, I was also shown its capacity for kindness: texts and phone calls flooded in from friends in England who wanted to show me their support. My friends and family in France also sent texts and called, the lovely people here on WordPress were incredibly supportive. I stayed up half the night glued to the horrific news but talking to friends and family and bloggers as well. Similarly, in Paris last night, it wasn’t just about carnage and brutality: people reached out to each other, with taxis drivers taking people home for free and Parisians opening their doors and offering shelter to anyone left stranded in the city…kindness won out over hate, like it should do, like it always will.
This morning, I don’t have the words, either in French or English to describe how I feel. All I can say is: the French are strong, we were subjected to vile attacks earlier this year and we survived them, we will survive this. We are not going to be intimidated, we are not going to be afraid, we will not bow down to insanity and terror.
Terrorists attacks are meant to divide, they are meant to sow fear. We will not be divided and we will not fear. My heart bleeds for the victims in Paris and my heart bleeds for their families and friends, but I stand here today as determined as ever to uphold the values of any civilised country – I am not, and will not be afraid.