Following last night’s series of gun and bomb attacks on Paris, leaving over 100 dead, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) stands in solidarity with the people of France and all those suffering under violent extremism around the world.
The Paris attacks have been linked to ISIS; various social media accounts connected to the group have been threatening to attack France for some time, in supposed retaliation for operations against ISIS by French forces in Syria, and with the stated intention of sowing intolerance in French society.
President of the IHEU, Andrew Copson, said today:
“The terrorism of ISIS is the epitome of anti-human ideology. They claim to want to build a state, but it is founded on ignorance and malice, on coercion and rape and murder. Then, when international forces work to contain and diminish the threat they pose to everyone in the region, ISIS pretends that they are the aggrieved, pretends that they are the victims, and so – like tantruming bullies – they instruct individuals and direct groups to carry out these callous, fruitless, cowardly atrocities.
“All nations must respond to this provocation with the values that violent Jihadist extremism most hates: with the patience and clarity that allow us to differentiate extremists and provocateurs from the ordinary people who share the religion that they claim; with the good judgement and rationality that allow us to work together as an international community to end the suffering that they cause; and with the firm determination to always promote humanity and hope, over hatred and fear.”
The 13 November Paris attacks follow on the heels of twin bomb attacks in Beirut, Lebanon (12 November) and the downing of a Russia-bound airliner in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (31 October). These three attacks have all been linked to, inspired, or claimed by terrorist movement ISIS; yesterday’s blast at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad may also fit this pattern. Going back to September 2014, a long list of atrocities against the public, and in some cases against security personnel, includes kidnappings, shootings, and bomb attacks, in countries far beyond the territories occupied by ISIS, including Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, the West Bank, Yemen, to say nothing of the devastation wrought in Iraq and Syria; and there are many other failed terror plots and ISIS recruitment activities said to have been foiled, including in Bangladesh, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Malaysia, United Kingdom, and United States.