A Look into the Tragedy in Paris

Photo courtesy of Patrick Kenney.

Alex Thomas
Staff Writer

In life, there are moments that you never forget.

There are moments that no matter what, you will always remember where you were when you heard about them. I’ll never forget where I was when I learned about Sept. 11, I had just got home from school that afternoon before I heard the news. It was the same for the Boston Marathon Bombing, I was sitting in my dorm room in the basement of Massasoit Hall. The terror attacks in Paris are another moment I’ll never forget as I was sitting inside the Mass Mutual center in the Springfield Falcons front office waiting to start another night of work.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen the photos, we’ve seen some of the videos from those escaping, and we’ve heard the stories of those who somehow, someway were able to escape from near certain death. It’s heartbreaking, but it’s also a reminder, a wake up call if you will.

I’m not going to turn this into a political thing because that isn’t right. Over 100 people lost their lives and hundreds more are fighting for their lives as we speak due to injuries sustained. Turning this into in a political debate is just not right, it isn’t what we need right now. That being said, there is one issue that this attack sheds light on that must be talked about. More on that later.

I also won’t turn this into a religious debate because, in all honesty, religion is why we are in this situation currently. Some people in this world just cannot handle people not believing in the same thing they do and they resort to radicalism. If you don’t believe in what these radicals believe in, you will be prosecuted and potentially killed. We’ve seen the terror group ISIS do this for months now in the Middle East. Christians, Jews, even some Muslims have been prosecuted and killed.

Notice I said ISIS and not Muslims. We need to learn how to differentiate between the two. ISIS is a radical group and represent less than a fraction of the Islamic religion. Those who practice the religion are not bad people, they truly are not. It is this small group of radicals who get lumped in with people minding their own business and practicing their own religion. ISIS is not Muslim, we have to differentiate the two groups.

Same went for the KKK and Christians. That is the religion they practiced, but as we know they were not representative of that religion, the same goes for ISIS and Islam. This group is not representative of this religion.

What happened in Paris is a complete tragedy, a lot of innocent people lost their lives in a senseless fashion. A city was turned upside down and a massacre occurred, there is no other way to describe it. This is the worst terrorist attack on Western Civilization I can remember since the horrible bombings in the London Subways in 2007.

We also need to treat this as a reminder as well. The threat of terrorism, the threat of the group ISIS, is far from dead. On the same day President Obama declared the group “contained” they executed this attack on France. Truth is, this group is not contained and likely never will be. This was a stark reminder that this isn’t a fight against a country, it’s a fight against a mindset. That’s scary, because you can never truly kill a mindset.

Even after the U.S. confirmed the killing of “Jihadi John” on Friday, others executed his message hours later. That should be a scary reminder that no matter how many top officials of this group are killed, no matter how many strongholds are bombed, there will always be people around the globe who are willing to fight for this cause.

Unfortunately, it brings up another debate as well, the refugee debate. It’s really sad, because a lot of good people are running from all they have ever known to escape this group, yet this group has infiltrated these people and are sneaking into countries like France. Eventually, when the U.S. takes in refugees, this risk will hit close to home.

Since the attacks on France, numerous states in the U.S. have decided to not take in refugees at this time. Unfortunately I believe that this is the right call at this time. It bothers me because I truly feel for those who have been displaced, they can’t control what others do or where they are born.

That being said, we must remember that we are fighting an enemy that associates with no country and that has used these refugees to sneak into Europe. Now they have the chance to sneak into the U.S., the country often described as their top target.

Right now this country must take the attack in France and use it as a stark reminder that this battle against terrorism is still ongoing. It’s time to be smart about this and shut the boarders down for now. Protecting this country from an attack from within must be priority number one.

ISIS is not contained, Friday night should be a reminder of that to everyone.

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