Montreal, Nov. 14, 2015 – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) joins the many voices worldwide condemning the terrorist attacks that occurred Friday in Paris, killing at least 129. While details are still emerging, French officials have indicated that individuals acting in the name of the so called “Islamic State” (ISIS) may be responsible. As the attacks in Paris risk inflaming anti-Muslim sentiment in Canada, CJPME points out that Canadian Muslim groups, e.g. the Muslim Canadian Federation, have already publicly denounced the Paris attacks.
On the same day that ISIS struck in Paris, ISIS bombs killed 26 in Iraq. One day earlier, on Thursday, ISIS suicide bombers in Beirut killed at least 43. The New York Times reports that, “Since the emergence of Islamic State extremists, attacks in Baghdad have taken place almost daily, with roadside bombs, suicide blasts and assassinations targeting Iraqi forces and government officials, causing significant civilian casualties.” Thus, while the killings in Paris are terribly tragic and unacceptable, they seem to be part of a broader ISIS trend that targets people of all backgrounds across the world.
One of CJPME’s three policy pillars is that “violence does not lead to solutions,” and CJPME is convinced that the terror attacks in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and other locations around the world will only exacerbate the grievous problems facing the peoples of the world today. “Canadian and world leaders must respond to the crisis of violence that ISIS presents,” stated CJPME President Thomas Woodley, “but they must respond holistically, in a way which addresses the underlying causes for the rise of groups like ISIS.” CJPME has long advocated a broad-based response to the threat of ISIS: one which addresses inconsistent Western policies in the region, and one which addresses international arms sales to the region, among other elements.
CJPME encourages the new Trudeau government to use the recent terror attacks to create a new page in Canadian foreign policy: one that considers the suffering and pain felt by all peoples. CJPME cites the words of blogger Karuna Parikh, “Say a prayer for Paris by all means, but pray more for the world that does not have a prayer, for those who no longer have a home to defend. For a world that is falling apart in all corners, and not simply in the towers and cafés we find so familiar.”