In the wake of the horrendous Paris Attacks, we must keep the following in mind:
- No arguments, whether Islamically or military-strategically driven, can legitimize these horrendous attacks.
- Mourning the victims of these attacks shouldn’t be confused with standing with France as an imperialist nation. France is one of the most monstrous colonial powers in the history of mankind. It’s responsible for the killing of millions of indigenous people, the destruction of nations and cultures, and the dehumanization of billions of non-Europeans.
- Muslims in the West are considered a “demographic danger” to white-supremacy. The European right-wingers have been pushing towards the exile of millions of Western Muslims and “tougher” policies towards refugees. These attacks can only give more “credibility” to these groups’ propaganda.
- The impact of these attacks can’t be underestimated. Even though the number of victims is less than those of 9/11, this is a pivotal event for France and European countries. This event can be viewed as the French version of 9/11 that will eventually lead to similar Islamophobic and imperialist outcomes.
- If the attackers are French Muslims, like those who committed the Charlie Hebdo Attack, then we must contextualize these attacks with their socioeconomic conditions — racism, poverty, extreme secularization — and not just with France’s foreign policies.
- The role of Western powers in Syria, and other occupied and oppressed Muslim countries, is an incentive for criminal groups like ISIS. ISIS, led by former Ba’ath army generals, knows how to utilize the pain, oppression, and injustice Syrians face to recruit members and plan similar crimes in the name of Islam and self-determination.
Finally, the crime of 9/11 created an atmosphere of fear and shock which was capitalized by colonial powers to expand their hegemony in the Middle East, leading to catastrophic outcomes that resulted in murdering millions of people and total destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. This atmosphere also gave Israel the legitimacy to crush the Second Palestinian Intifada.
Even Muslim communities in the West suffered greatly by being subjected to huge waves of racism and bigotry, followed by oppressive national policies that caused Muslims leaders to be imprisoned and deported, and Muslim organizations to shut down.
Our role should go beyond just helping people heal; we must work together to stop the inception of another era of post-9/11.