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Some are calling the horrific attacks in Paris “France’s 9/11.”
The senseless massacres in Paris—and the bombings in Beirut the day before—have sent the world into mourning.
The killings triggered a flood of solidarity, compassion, and calls for accountability—but also the risk of an unreasoned backlash that will compound the tragedy. Hate cannot defeat hate.
We’ll join with a global coalition to put our message in a full-page ad in the French newspaper Le Monde—and we’ll also display the signatures online.
The draft open letter says:
We are shocked, saddened, and in deep mourning after the terrorist attacks in Paris. We stand in solidarity with the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones.
We express the same solidarity to all of the victims of ISIS across the world, including those in Ankara, Beirut, Syria, and Iraq, and to all of the refugees forced to flee their homes to escape the very terror that hit Paris. Today, we stand together for peace. We stand together for liberté, égalité, fraternité.
After 9/11, Le Monde famously ran an editorial with the headline, “Nous sommes tous Américains” (“We are all Americans”).
Paris is, tragically, not alone in suffering. A double suicide bombing in Beirut, Lebanon on Thursday killed at least 40 people. Turkey, Iraq, Kenya, and other countries around the globe have experienced similar horrors this year. Every one of those victims deserves to be mourned.
And now, there’s reason to fear that Paris will become a kind of tipping point—that these latest attacks will push the global community further into mutual suspicion and perpetual retaliation.
Those responsible for these violent acts must be held accountable. But we can’t forget how 9/11 was used to justify the war in Iraq, and that ISIS’s own origins trace to a U.S-run Iraqi prison. It is precisely in moments like this one that we must be on guard against a rush to war.
France has already initiated military action against targets in Syria, with U.S. help.4 Anti-Muslim, anti-refugee rhetoric is flaring up in the U.S. and around the world. And we’re already seeing right-wing hawks and neoconservatives in the United States—including those who pushed us to war after 9/11—pushing for reckless military action and taking an even more cruel line towards desperate Syrian refugee families.
MoveOn will need to be a voice for justice, and against vengeance and xenophobia. Our first act is to join together and send all the victims’ communities a message of love and compassion during this difficult time.