Terror in Paris

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths -

The atroc­i­ties in the French cap­i­tal last Fri­day have wounded the civilised world.

The de­spi­ca­ble, in­hu­man and cow­ardly at­tacks by ter­ror­ists killed many, in­jured many more and have changed lives ir­re­vo­ca­bly.

My nephew is study­ing in Paris, and the ter­ri­ble news brought a per­sonal di­rect­ness to the events.

He is safe and well, but my first thoughts are with the fam­i­lies and friends of those who lost their lives so bru­tally, so un­nec­es­sar­ily.

Even as they were be­ing evac­u­ated from the Stade de France, the over­whelm­ing mes­sage from sur­vivors was one of de­fi­ance, and the sol­i­dar­ity of na­tions and faiths against ter­ror­ism has united po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious lead­ers world­wide.

The re­ac­tion has proved that ter­ror­ism is ul­ti­mately fu­tile.

The de­lib­er­ate tar­get­ing of civil­ians in­clud­ing chil­dren is ab­hor­rent to all but the per­pe­tra­tors, and terror at­tacks serve no pur­pose other than the pol­i­tics of hate and fear.

Th­ese strikes achieve noth­ing other than to fur­ther the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s re­solve to de­fend free­dom, democ­racy and tol­er­ance.

Bul­ly­ing with bombs and weapons is still bul­ly­ing: it has never per­suaded or co­erced any­one.

I hope the world’s news me­dia, in its re­port­ing of th­ese mur­ders, un­der­stands that po­larised news has and will cause reper­cus­sions but, more fright­en­ingly, could stall refugee re­set­tle­ment ef­forts and fuel sup­port for the far­right across Europe.

The world has been wounded cer­tainly, but democ­racy and the hu­man right to choose any re­li­gion or none are un­de­feated.

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