Attacks in Paris Trigger Rise in Islamophobia

*This article does not represent the views of Her Campus FSU

Courtesy: Wireless Goodness

On Friday, November 13, the world was shaken up by the several acts of terrorism in Paris. 129 died due to mass shootings, explosions and hostage situations. The president of France, François Hollande, declared it an act of terrorism against the French state. After the events went viral through the web, updates throughout the weekend were made identifying the attackers.

Through the attacks, there has been an elevating fear of religious extremism and violent jihadists who have been radicalized by the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. This is not the first incident that has befell France this year. In January French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was gunned down and 12 were killed. They were targeted by masked gunmen who yelled “Allahu Akbar” before commencing the attacks.

After this incident, the most severe case of terrorism France had seen since 1961, anti-Muslim attacks rose 500 percent between January and April of this year. The incidents included violent assaults and destruction of Muslim places of worship. While it has been determined that the terrorists in the most recent Paris attacks were religious extremists, or more specifically jihadists, this does not reflect the behavior and practices of all Muslims.

One of the recent attacker’s passport was clearly identified as Syrian which has caused tremendous problems for the Syrian refugees all over the world. America already has experienced terrorist attacks that have shaped the country and, detrimentally, created an Islamophobic attitude with some of its citizens.

Many Republican presidential candidates and governors have pledged to refuse all Syrian refugees because of the recent attack. Half of the nation’s states want to make it more difficult for these people fleeing war to settle in what some people like to call “the greatest nation on Earth.” Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, has specifically stated that Christian refugees should be allowed, but not Muslim. Worldwide, Muslims are facing discrimination heavily once again.

The attack on Paris was a tragedy, one to be remembered along with 9/11, but the terror that is instilled isn’t an excuse to create a hate movement. The attack is still fresh in our memory and painful in our hearts, but anti-Muslim retaliation is already occurring.

"If we continue to allow Muslim immigration, we'll see much more of what happened in Paris – it's on our doorstep. France and Europe are being overrun by young Muslim men from the Middle East, and they do not know their backgrounds or their motives and intentions," Christian evangelist Franklin Graham wrote on his Facebook page. Islam, Graham warned, "is not a peaceful religion."

It is a time of grieving for the lives lost in Paris. It’s also a time to recognize how hurtful and terrible acts of violence are upon civilians. The rise of Islamophobia happening is only going to hurt more people. No innocent person should have a target on their back whether they’re a French citizen, an American or a Muslim.