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Paris attacks: New Times journalist Houda proposes that European politicians consider the ethics and humanitarianism that this attack targeted in their future approach to refugees

After Paris: Refugees are not the enemy

On Friday the 13th November, 129 people were killed in a series of shootings and bombs in Paris. I propose that European politicians consider the ethics and humanitarianism that this attack targeted in their future approach to refugees

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By: Houda

My name is Houda, I am 19 years old, and I was brought up in a Muslim Palestinian family in Algeria. I now live in Europe.

As a Muslim I feel so frustrated about the way the terrorists of Paris have used the name of Islam as their symbol and their pretext to do all this terrible killing. This is so wrong, not least because it lets people believe that ISIS represents Islam, and that Islam in itself is a dangerous religion.

The terror attack in Paris was terrible. Such acts are a crime not only against innocent French people, but against humanity, stability and world peace in general.

I have been brought up to believe that religions are perfect, but that people are not. We should not blame Muslims because of these attacks, but keep in mind that terrorism has no religion, no nationality and no soul.

The evil of Isis is spreading everywhere now, and we see people dying here and there randomly. This makes it all the more important that we work on this issue as united humans and not as people divided by religions.

As a refugee myself, I feel strongly about the way that the current situation is affecting refugees. And I been have sad, but not surprised to see political leaders point out that Muslim refugees are a threat to the peace in European countries.

It seems that jumping to conclusions has become our political leaders’ way to answer all difficult questions – maybe because politicians fear what they cannot understand.

But it is both logically and ethically out of place to treat refugees fleeing war as criminals. We need to keep in mind that refugees are running away from the common enemy – and that this does not make them an enemy, but a potential friend.

In this time after the Paris attacks, the compassionate attitude to refugees seems to be changing to an attitude of concern and hate. This could potentially fuel Islamophobia and the idea that refugees are a threat, not a fellow human. We need to take great care that it doesn’t.

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