Why It's Disgraceful to Blame Refugees for the Attacks in Paris

November 15th 2015

With the news updating every moment, people around the world trying to put together the pieces of what happened in Paris Friday. Like the Charlie Hebdo attacks before it, people are looking for an explanation while they still absorb the reports.

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We still do not know exactly who is behind these deadly attacks, which at the time of publishing have left at least 127 dead, according to Reuters. Yet some on Twitter are already looking for someone or something to blame: "It's Islam!" "It's the refugees!"

The last one will certainly have an impact in the days and weeks to come. Thousands of refugees have died trying to get to Europe from Syria. Bodies wash up on the Mediterranean shores. These people are trying to escape poverty, radical terrorism and repressive regimes, but we too often close the door on them or call them by disparaging names.

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The refugees are victims of extreme ideologies, and they are trying to get to a safer place.

It is not right to blame the victims of violence for the existence of violence, and doing so creates the sort of cultural divisions that often breeds violence. Any claim that the refugee situation allows bad people to fly in under the radar assumes they couldn't find an alternate way there in the first place, when history shows they can.

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