Terror in Paris

<b>French-flag</b>-mapTonight, as I write this blog post, the Eiffel Tower is darkened in respect for the more than 125 dead, and at least 200 injured in Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Of the injured an estimated 99 are critical. That means the death toll will almost certainly increase. ISIL has claimed responsibility for the attacks in three locations. France’s President Francois Hollande has vowed to attack the jihadist group without mercy. French authorities say that 7 of 8 attackers were suicide bombers. They also say they shot and killed the eighth attacker but they are as yet unable to say if more terrorists remain at large.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised all possible support and aid to France, a country that has been a long time geopolitical partner in the world. Trudeau spoke of support for ‘French cousins’ and confirmed that “governments have a responsibility to keep their citizens safe while defending our rights and freedoms.” President Barack Obama has also promised support for the USA’s oldest ally. He called the shootings and bombings an attack on all humanity and on shared universal values.

What follows is my opinion only. Terrorist attacks of any description is despicable. ISIL and terrorist organizations of similar ilk corrupt the meaning of Islam and the Quran. ISIL’s goal to overrun the world to create an Islamic State is misguided at best,  immoral at the most and irreconcilable all the time. I have no idea what Islam has to say about evil within its ranks, nor do I know if there is any mention of any kind of Hell in the Quran. But, I am certain that ISIL and similar terror groups are the epitome of evil and that they ought to be consigned to whatever Hell can be conjured up for them.

In checking news reports of these Paris attacks I see some evidence that Muslims around the world, those who seek to practice a true faith, are condemning the ISIL claim that it is responsible. So it should be. But, here I must declare my sentiment, that if we who are not Muslim, we who may or may not declare that we are Christian; if we fail to agree with and stand beside faithful peace abiding Muslims who are horrified by the acts of ISIL and the like, if we fail to choose a righteous path, then we may well be guilty of fomenting injustice in the world.

I see that my friends on Facebook are declaring their willingness to Pray for Paris. That’s all to the good. But I hope we will all be willing to do more if we are called upon to do so. I don’t have any idea of what that should be. It might be just as simple as declaring our position against terrorism, risking being attacked. It might be more. I imagine that for many, maybe most already employed in military capacities that such willingness will be readiness to go and fight in the air and on the ground to rout ISIL and their counterparts so that their ill gotten gains can be returned to the people of overrun lands. We must all stand against terrorism.

I have written in my novel The Chechen’s Revenge about the attempt of a Chechen rebel, a dissident Muslim, to create havoc in Toronto by blowing up multiple trains of the Go Train system that operates throughout Toronto and its environs. That nefarious character is stopped from succeeding by a band of anti-terrorist agents of the Canadian Department of Defense agency created for the purpose. It’s all fictional of course, but I have tried to make it clear that the Chechen is operating from false beliefs inside a democratic system which he clearly does not understand or appreciate. This particular story illustrates a danger which we all face in the current age. Terrorism like that which occurred yesterday (Friday November 13) might well be just around the corner here at home. We must be vigilant. Our anti-terrorism agencies, I think, are doing the best that they can. They deserve our help. Report what you see that clearly is out of order.

My second novel A Prairie Vendetta, currently under construction, tells a story of terrorism from a different perspective. Within our society exist groups, some very small and some I suspect much larger, waiting to create their own kind of terror attacks on their neighbors. These are home-grown terrorists. Some of our federal agencies are tasked with discovering who these groups are and once discovered keeping an eye on their behaviors and activities. That task, I believe, is monumental. It should go without saying that we should be in support of such watchfulness, without crying that our civil liberties are being infringed. A saying I hear or read frequently seems appropriate to our corporate awareness: Freedom is not free.

If you read this and come to the conclusion that it is merely a rant, well that may be true, but I suggest to you that it is a rant that you might wish to take up as part of a means to protect you and yours.

Thanks for your support friends. Good Reading


Ron Stotyn, PhD ca-flag SmallFront-Cover

I am a retired college professor and former broadcast journalist. I live in Vermont with my wife. I write near the shores of Lake Champlain. As an author I cast characters in the task of anti-terrorism efforts. The setting for my stories is Canada. My first novel is The Chechen's Revenge, a story of Sean-Guy O'Dwyer-Lariviere and his team of Canadian Anti-terrorism Service agents on the trail of a rebel Chechen, determined to create havoc and death on Toronto's Go Train system. The Chechen's Revenge is now in print and can be ordered online at https://mkt.com/northof49publishing.

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