Last night I was glued to the BBC, the CBC and even other global media, because it was difficult to find American media that was centering on the issue as it was unfolding. I then moved to coverage in my short wave radio since it was impossible to find US pre-programmed radio that interrupted coverage to center on the massacre in Paris. Under all the chaos, uncertainty and speculation I finally found sleep, only to wake up this morning with US coverage of the incident that highlighted the many prayers offered by the political candidates (starting with Trump of course), the commitments of global leaders and diplomats, and the speculations of experts in terrorism and the Middle East.
After listening and watching this show it was clear that we were experiencing another moment of social construction to distort public opinion and advance propaganda against Muslims and the Middle East, while taking advantage of the opportunity to fuel the broadly defined war against terrorism. As I began to reflect on this reality, it was gratifying to know that the anti-war community was already actively discussing at the local, national and international levels the strategy to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in France while at the same time making sure that violence will not be answered with greater violence and use of force.
We are convinced here, at the Peace and Justice Center, that the incidents in Paris provide humanity with another opportunity to reflect on the broader picture, centering on the historic causes that have led to current realities. We must find mechanisms to influence policy makers and decision makers, at both the local and international levels, so that they distance themselves from the facile idea that the response to violence is more violence. We must also work hard to educate the public since main stream media is not doing their job, generating instead greater hate and anti-muslim sentiment that only leads to greater confusion and indiscriminatory violence.