Dear Friends

The following is a message I initially wrote around midnight when the attacks were still taking place in Paris. It was written as a way of getting my thoughts and feelings down on the incident as well as an attempt to look forwards to the future.

Dear Friends,

The night of Friday 13th November, in the year 2015, will be a night that will forever change the history of France and of this world. With over a hundred innocent people’s lives taken in one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history it is extremely important that the people of this world come together in solidarity to ensure that the negative ramifications these attackers want never come to pass.

As we speak people are speculating on social media. They see the attacks as being conducted by Muslim fighters, working for Islamic State, and that the attacks are simply the latest in a long line of extreme Islamist attacks. Yet no news networks have implicated Muslims or the Islamic State as the perpetrators of such an assault. The racial hatred felt by many people has lead to them instigating a form of racial abuse online without purpose or reason.

The Holy Qur’an forbids such violence. The Holy Bible forbids such violence. The Hindu Vedas, Puranas and Poems forbid such violence. The Dhammapada forbids such violence. The Book of Mormon forbids such violence. Atheism forbids such violence! Religion forbids such violence!

We cannot hold every person of a certain minority or faith to be accountable for such an attack. If the attackers are found to proclaim Islam as their faith, or to belong to the Islamic State fundamentalist group, then we cannot proclaim that all Muslims are to be accountable! We cannot instigate hatred against them. We cannot breach hate. We cannot attack or defame their religion, their holy buildings and their creeds. They are not responsible for such actions.

The gunmen who initiated such attacks do not belong to Islam. They may proclaim it with their mouths but they do not follow it in their hearts. They violate every tenet of the faith. They defame and desecrate the names of Allah and Muhammad and do not deserve to be called Muslims. The attackers are what they are: vile and inhumane. They alone are to blame.

If the attackers are found to have hidden among refugees to come to France then we cannot hold all refugees accountable. We cannot instigate racist and xenophobic policies, we cannot use this event as a justification for extreme policies that alienate refugees or to deny them the aid they desperately need.

If the attackers are found to have come from another country, like Syria, then we cannot use the attacks as a justification to invade! We cannot bring death to thousands of innocent civilians to get retribution for the deaths of the many who died in Paris tonight.

If the attackers are found to have planned the attacks through private messaging on social media then we cannot use this as a justification for laws that will be used to monitor and store the personal data of public citizens of the world. You cannot hold every single human being responsible for the sins of a few men and, in doing so, create a police state where everything is heavily monitored and subdued.

What we need is to stop speculating without facts, stop spreading fear without reason, stop spreading hate for any reason whatsoever and come together in an act of solidarity. Christians should embrace Muslims, Muslims should embrace Hindus, Hindus should embrace Scientologists, Scientologists should embrace Mormons, Mormons should embrace Wiccans and so on and so on. We are all brothers and sisters, sacred children of this small blue world.

We should work together to bring life and light, to spread hope and compassion, to stop fear and to increase an understanding of differing political, theological, philosophical, geological and sociological differences.

We should not divide ourselves by the colour of our skin, by the gender we have, by the sexuality we have, by the country where we live, by the religions we follow, by the political views we follow, by the clothes we wear and by the culture we live in. We should look past all these things and instead do our best to unite as a species. We must repair the broken tapestry of the world and strive for the greatness that we know we can achieve.

For the ensured continuation of our species and in memory of those lives which were tragically lost tonight I hope we can regain our humanity.

Yours sincerely,

Charlie