Paris is a city that many of us know and love. Last night Parisians were out in restaurants, watching a football match, attending a rock concert; things that many of us and our children do. Suddenly over 120 of them were killed by gunmen using automatic weapons and detonating suicide vests. Many more were wounded, and the death toll is likely to rise.
The Conservative Muslim Forum is shocked and horrified by such callous killings. Our prayers are with the families of those killed, and for the recovery of those wounded.
The attackers were well armed, coordinated, and had clearly been trained. This morning, eye witness accounts are emerging. The killers are reported to have invoked the conflict in Syria and Iraq as justification, and pervertedly invoked God’s name while firing on their victims.
Those who planned this attack must have aimed to terrorise French society, and to foment hatred between French people of different religions.
Accordingly we all need to remember that the innocent victims of last night’s killings will include French Muslims, and that amongst the policemen and soldiers who came to protect the citizens of Paris will also be French Muslims. We call upon the people of France to reaffirm their refusal to be divided, as Londoners did after the terrorist attacks we experienced on 7 July 2005.
Ever since the Mumbai attacks seven years ago, our Government has prepared for the risk of such attacks, aimed at causing mass casualties amongst dispersed civilian targets. We need to give it every assistance, and to support the intelligence gathering that has foiled many attempted terrorist attacks. Also, as Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May have said, we need to assist the Government in rooting out the pernicious ideology that underlies such terrorism.