With the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris it really made me think of my time travelling there. If you know anything about me is how in love I am with Paris – although my time there only consisted of 3 days spread across two trips. My room alone has a headboard I made with a poster of the Eiffel Tower, a candle shaped with the Eiffel tower, chairs covered with a Paris design, pictures of my time in the city of lights and I even have a France notebook I am saving for the next time I go…. It’s an obsession.
“I cannot tell you what an impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world”
– Charles Dickens
It is sad to see a beautiful city brought to such distraught. A place that has already experienced wars now faces another. It’s 2015, why is this happening? What have we done wrong that a large group of people feel such hatred towards western society?
About a year ago, I watched an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart regarding the film Innocence of Muslims. In it he pointed out everything being said in the media about the film and the muslim religion. At the same time he compared it to the history of Christianity, which was very thought provoking. Persecutions, implementing their believes on natives, killing people who did not see things their way…. but these are things that happened over centuries.
In no way am I supporting the terrorist attacks happening in the world by ISIS. It is hard to process what has happened and even harder to imagine what survivors of the attacks went through and are still going through. However, I can understand how easy it is to persuade someone – we do it every day in simple gestures of convincing someone they do want to go get a coffee even though they had one 5 minutes ago. Someone who has a strong presence and is a great speaker and motivator can move a country. Hitler did it.
Today I read a quote from my Paris themed calendar purchased from Chapters (I know, it’s an addiction):
“Paris is not a city- it’s a world”
For those who only hear about stereotypes of Parisians I would like to point out that it is a safe city with very friendly people. It is the same as walking down the street here in Toronto, some people will be nice and helpful to tourists while others are running to get to work and come off as rude. We tend to group people in a category based on one or two things we have seen, experienced, heard or a combination of the three. But just like not all Parisian’s are rude not all muslims are terrorists. ISIS is a group of terrorist, while muslims are a group of people who share the same religion. People are suffering because of ISIS, we shouldn’t create hostility in our own backyards by assaulting a woman wearing a hijab or burning down a mosque.