Editorial: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

This past weekend brought untold horrors to our screens as the world watched the attacks unfold in Paris. We saw the death toll steadily rise and horrified faces roam the streets, bloodied bodies and white sheets-  for most it has shaken us to our very core, and distraught our sense of security.

As we begin to learn more about this tragic event it is important that we as a community get the narrative right – that the story that is told is reflective of reality.  It strengthens our resolve here at bathimpact to work harder to provide you with the best possible information in a fair and balanced manner.

Recently, Queen Rania of Jordan made a statement, “I would love to drop the first “I” in ISIS, there is nothing Islamic about them.” It is evident that this is not a fight against Muslims and Islam, and to say this would be grossly incorrect. Nothing that occurred that night was about Islam, but everything to do with fanaticism.

It is important that we do not dwell on the religious dimension of this. Religion has time and time again throughout history been used as a basis of legitimacy and as a form of recruitment, further reinforcing the narrative of “us vs. them”. It is important that we are aware that this is not the case, that Islam is in fact being hijacked by the minorities who sit on the peripheries, as with any religion. Extremists attempt to divide communities and countries along the lines of culture and religion, and we sincerely hope moving forward that this will not be the case.

It is important to see this as a civilised way of life fighting against an imposing violent, inhumane barbaric ideology. The term barbaric is appropriate to describe this group – their acts do not sit within the human spectrum – they are unfathomable and that important discernment needs to be made. Once we do, we will be able to stand together and defend our way of life.

At times like these we stop, reflect, and wonder what our next steps will be. We will look to our leaders and to their future actions and decisions with hope that it provides peace and prevents other atrocities like this from happening again. We remember the common sense of humanity that binds us all. The doors that were opened for food, shelter and security. At bathimpact we stand with full support of our French peers and any people who have been affected by these events. People from all across the world have shown their tremendous solidarity with the French people, and the French have shown their grit and resolve as they begin to take their first steps towards recovery. This overwhelming wave of human support and kindness should be remembered moving forward, as we stand together, united in defending our way of life.

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