Editor’s note: Regular contributor Jeremy Ullmann grew up between England and France. Here’s what he had to say on the night of the Paris Attacks:
YES PRAY FOR PARIS. Pray or think with all your might for those who’ve died and those who are wounded and those who are terrified. It’s a vile, horrific, heart-breaking situation which is forever inexcusable.
But seriously, also give a thought to those who pounce on this story and use it to exercise a fear-driven opinion. Even tonight. It’s so fucking easy to let being scared of something ‘different’ that most of us hardly know anything about to influence your thoughts and then to cry out to close all borders, that all Muslims are terrorists and that diversity and multiculturalism are a venom to society as sprouted by the likes of The Daily Mail and The Sun.
This fear and hate helps to breed extremism, it gives sympathisers something to become radicalised against. Peace and the destruction of these global, embedded ideologies can never be achieved by collecting, generalising, then shoving the enemy into a dark drawer.
This is a tragedy. My heart aches for those who’ve lost their lives so barbarically and all my thoughts as I try to sleep go to all those people who will need a reminder of humanity tonight. And for whatever will happen tomorrow, I hope that tolerance, diversity, education and pluralism withstands the avalanche of hatred and fear which will inevitably try to claim the 13th for itself.