Leon’s Take: In light of recent attacks, people must unite and show defiance
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The recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France and Beirut, Lebanon, as well as the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, were brutal tragedies that bestowed a sorrow over the world. In recent months, many innocent lives have been lost due to the actions of evil militant groups, such as those by the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
In all these cases, terrorists targeted people conducting their everyday lives: people watching a concert, strolling through a market or enjoying a vacation. These attacks were an attempt to debilitate people’s lives and instill within them a fear that they did not live in a safe world.
In addition, these attacks further exacerbated the Syrian refugee crisis, as one of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks came into the continent through Greece as a refugee. According to CNN, 11 million of 22 million Syrians have fled Syria amid the disastrous civil war that has engulfed the nation. In September, President Obama promised to accept 10,000 refugees a year. However, the recent attacks have spurred 31 governors in the United States, including Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, to refuse refuge for these people.
Furthermore, these attacks have the potential to threaten Muslims’ already precarious position in societies around the world, including France. The proliferation of xenophobia could have adverse consequences on innocent Muslims in the world.
Despite all this turmoil, there have been signs of solidarity and defiance against the horrid terrorist acts. In Paris, people showed resilience by mingling in cafes, one of which was close to the Bataclan, one of the shooting sites. At Wembley Stadium in England, the English and French national soccer teams united to sing the French national anthem.
Though these acts of courage are important, they are not enough. They cannot hide the fact that these attacks have shattered the illusion of safety that we have around us. It is time for nations, with otherwise differing agendas, to unite and battle the common enemy of terrorism. It will be a relentless battle, but it is a fight that must be fought.
The deaths of so many innocent people make me scrutinize my own life. They make me wonder, at the most fundamental level, why would people kill those simply living their lives? The arrival of Thanksgiving and these recent attacks form a frightening juxtaposition. Many people have been ruthlessly cheated of one of the only things that grounds us: family.
We have been shown the fragility of life and the true darkness of mankind. However, it is the duty of everyone to defy these attackers, unequivocally telling them that we will not falter.
To all those who have been affected in any way, stay strong, and continue to live your lives with bravery. Know that people around the world are with you.