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Very recently, cafes in Paris buzzing with the sweet sounds of high spirits, restaurants packed with families, friends, and a kind unfamiliarity amongst strangers, and a theatre overcrowded with people were all struck with the terror of a nation torn apart by terrorism.
Julianna Philippe, a current resident in Paris, speaks of the horrors of tonight’s attack: “We hear[d] shots, and looked down and saw bodies. People left their apartments to cover [the bodies], and we waited for the police. It felt like years, sitting and waiting, sitting and feeling afraid.”
Presidents, senators, and citizens of every country awakened with Paris’ screams for help. Numerous speculations have arisen regarding who has caused this catastrophe, one which will mark a bloody and permanent streak in the history of terrorist attacks. Men, women, and children too innocent to understand the denotation of terrorism lay in the streets of a city once known for its charm and energy. For the first time in 71 years, after the Nazi invasion of France, Paris has been placed under curfew. More than 200 innocent civilians will rest in coffins by the end of this weekend.
But the truth is bold and clear; political arguments on Islamophobia and the paranoia of a million nations are now irrelevant.
As Muslims, we all held our breath hearing of the news of explosions. Quickly trying to recover from the bombing in Lebanon just days ago, we now must unify with the other victims of terrorism and focus on an international solution. This resolution does not include a competition of oppression regarding which country lost the most people, or which nation has been terrorized most for a crime they did not commit.
We are in a time of mourning, sorrow, and sincere sympathy for those who have lost their chance at long, fulfilling lives. But we must once again rise in defiance against those who continue to tear apart the people of land after land, burning traditions that die with the eradication of the cultures of citizens they lost compassion for. The attacks in Paris have crushed the serenity of the concept of peace we strive to always aim for. However, by standing in solidarity, we will regain the stability lost in the rubbles of this inconceivable tragedy.
The intentions of the terrorists of these assaults will never be entirely clear. A misinterpretation, or misconception, of what they believe is justice is nearly impossible to analyze. There is no excuse for their actions. Rather than evaluating their intentions, we must refocus on the victims of this misfortune and discover a solution to the reoccurring adversities. Everything we once ignored must now be placed under the microscopic view of an eye willing to see what it missed before.
Although this situation may be an opportunity for us, as unified nations, to understand what those seeking protection are escaping from, we must also emphasize the importance of this catastrophe and its victims.
And as Obama said tonight, “This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on the people on France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.”
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