Friday 20-11-2015 - 10:08
This is a statement from the NUS Scotland Black Women's Committee on recent events in Paris, and the global reaction.
On the night of Friday 13th November the world froze as seven coordinated terror attacks killed at least 129 people in the city of Paris. In the wake of these horrific events, people have added a French flag to their profile picture and have been actively tweeting in support of the #PrayForParis hash tag. At the same time there has been an increase in Islamophobia and not just on social media. On Tuesday there was a deliberate fire set at Bishopbriggs Cultural Centre in Glasgow, which is used as a mosque by the Muslim community. First and foremost, there is no place for Islamophobia. The terror attacks in Paris, Nigeria and Syria were the responsibility of a minority and there is nothing to be achieved by using the Muslim community as a scapegoat.
We should not be asking the members of a religion who have faced and are facing, the threat of similarly terrifying attacks at the hands of these militant extremists, to apologise on their behalf. We should not be telling or advising the Muslim community to stay inside for fear of getting attacked when they walk down the street. This is victim blaming. Instead we should be saying ‘you should not be afraid to embrace your religion, you should not be afraid to go to your place of worship and these streets are no more mine than they are yours.’ We cannot persecute the majority for the acts of a minority. All Islamophobic attacks do is to create rifts in our society, it drives us apart and stop us from gaining the strength and the hope we can only achieve by standing together.
These were acts of terror, not acts of Islam.
NUS Scotland Black Women's Committee.