Theme: Paris Terrorist Attacks
As many of you may have heard, late on Friday, November 13 (local time), Paris experienced six nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks across the city, including explosions outside the Stade de France (French Stadium) and gunmen at the Bataclan concert hall. These attacks resulted in 129 dead and 352 wounded.
It was a horrific loss of life. It is a tragedy. There is still much we don’t know about the attacks, though ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has claimed responsibility for them. Even now, the French government has declared war on the terrorist group and is working with officials in Belgium and Greece to track the perpetrators down. French President Francois Hollande has ordered heightened security measures, including the temporary closures of places of public assembly, house arrest on anyone deemed dangerous, the confiscation of weapons, and having more leeway when conducting searches.
A great deal has happened in the past 24 hours, and if you weren’t on social media, you may not have been able to understand it all. Who did what, what happened, why, how are people responding – these are all issues we need to learn about. That is why I’ve compiled a short list of links for you to learn more about the attacks. If you know of any other good links, please post them in the comments. Thank you.
If you click here, you can go to a short video that AJ+ issued shortly after the attacks. You can hear one of the explosions from inside the stadium and see how people were responding during the attacks. It is not graphic, but it is frightening.
If you click here, you can read the BBC’s live reporting of events as they happened. They stopped reporting live at 11:00pm local time today, but you can click here for a thorough overview of what happened and what authorities have done since. Then click here for the CNN story about ISIS taking responsibility for the attacks.
To see a brief excerpt of President Hollande’s initial address to his fellow citizens, click here.
In the midst of this tragedy, people all across the world have begun supporting France and mourning those lost. The French were no less compassionate and courageous, using Twitter to spread the word about #PortOuverte (“open door”) to let people know where safe houses were. Thousands also sang the national anthem during the stadium evacuation, working to keep calm and orderly. You can see that here.
Artists and musicians also gathered to show their solidarity. To read more about that, you can click here and here. One artist that I follow on Facebook, Kayleen West, has offered a printable “Pray for Paris and the World” piece that she did, which you can access here.
Finally, we need to remember that ISIS does not only attack Western countries. In fact, just a few days before the Paris attacks, ISIS attacked Baghdad and Beirut, resulting in several dozen dead. Even as we mourn those lost in Paris, we should mourn those lost in the Middle East. And, instead of engaging in Islamophobia, as some on the news currently are, we should remember that Muslims are not responsible for these attacks – terrorists from ISIS are. To learn more about how Muslims are responding to and condemning the attacks, click here.
May you and your loved ones be safe tonight.
* Featured photo from https://twitter.com/LesCartons