Members of the public gather to lay flowers and light candles at
La Belle Equipe restaraunt on Rue de Charonn.
Photo: Getty Images
November 16, 2015
The terrorist attacks which have shaken the world over the past few weeks leave us heartbroken, confused, and tempted to engage in acts of retaliation. We stand in solidarity with the people of France. The violence and loss of human life overwhelms us. We wonder how people can engage in such violence. What motivates such hatred and disregard for human life? It is a time for decisive action but it remains uncertain as to what “decisive action” might mean. The immediate call for war on the part of so many political figures strikes us as reactive if not irresponsible. As difficult as it might seem, we must seek to understand the root causes of terrorism and respond in ways that are just, humane, responsible, and realistic.
We are deeply impressed by the response of the French people who are standing in solidarity with one another. So far their decisive actions against the terrorists have not been at the expense of the Nation’s love for liberty. Crowds of people are singing together the songs of liberty rather than chants of hatred.
Several things come to mind:
- The immediate call to war has proven to be a shortsighted response in the past
- The blaming of refugees for senseless terrorism is in itself senseless and dangerous
- Our responsibility to realize that we, as a Nation, are citizens in the World
- The response to terrorism must be an International response
- Religion must be the source of peace-making and understanding
- Powerful leaders must stop associating Islam with terrorism
- The news media must honestly communicate the Muslim condemnations of terrorism
The Interfaith Peace Project is more determined than ever to work for peace in the minds, hearts, and souls of everyone we meet. We must not allow the forces of destruction, fear, and hate to destroy the better nature of ourselves. We join the peoples of France and the World in lighting a candle of remembrance, dedication, and peace even as our hearts break and violence looms.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
with The Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project