In Paris, Out of the Blue

On Friday night, a series of attacks took lives of at least 129 and left many more injured for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility. The deadly group ISIS could not have murdered people just to take innocent lives. They were strangers. Ordinary people out on a stroll, enjoying a concert, strolling about the great city. IS wants people to know they take their vendetta seriously and build fear deep within every citizen. Their aim, it seems, is to make people afraid to go about their daily routines.

Such attacks are called “unexpected” for a reason. But maybe, we should expect them. With the US and French air strikes in Syria, alleged killing of Jihadi John, and Paris’s Syria policy, the inhumane IS wanted to send a clear message that they can strike anywhere at any time.

Knowing this dangerous terrorist group, and being familiar with the sophisticated technology they use and horrifying cold blooded murders they commit for the whole world to see, the least we can do is to stop underestimating them. They made it quite clear what they are capable of. The gunmen were not outsiders. They were lurking in the shadows. We don’t know who is going to murder who and when. And there is a possibility that this might lead to widening of divisions in the society. That is exactly what the terrorists want.

Therefore, the French government cannot be spared from criticism. The characteristics of IS may be extreme hatred and violence but secularism and multiculturalism are not exactly things France can boast about. It is a known fact that the Charlie Hebdo attackers were born and raised in France. But then they were radicalised. Perhaps, the French government should have concentrated less on air strikes and hosting Syrian opposition leaders and more on making all its citizens feel at home in their own country. Even though that would not have wiped out terrorism, it would have definitely helped a little at least.

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