Please, understand that what happened in Paris in the last few days was not:
- Muslims attacking non-Muslims
- Islam against the West
- An attack on free speech
What happened was evil. It was carried out by people who have most likely been exposed to evil themselves but have chosen to allow that evil to take root and bear horrible and terrible fruit.
Living in Western Europe is no more dangerous today than it was at the start of the week. You are many more times likely to be killed driving your car than you are at the hands of a random murderer. We have nothing to fear.
Sadly, and dangerously, the media seem to be loving it. The coverage has been relentless, speculative and sensationalised. The attacks were horrific but if they had not been reported, or at least not been hyped up, then the strange stirring of fear would not have been provoked in our communities.
Every day across the world similar and worse things happen but we do not hear about them. Today 16 people have been killed in a bomb attack in a Nigerian marketplace. You, I, and even someone sitting in a Paris suburb, have as much to fear from the attack in Nigeria as we do the attacks in Paris. If you allow the Paris attacks to settle bitterness, fear, suspicion or hatred in you then you could be at the top of the slippery slope of allowing evil to bear fruit in your own life. If you spread or indulge the scaremongering in conversation or on social media then you are actively helping evil spread like a deadly virus.
We all have so much in common. To hate or fear other humans quite simply robs you of your own identity. Do your bit – love your neighbour and love the stranger.