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Paris terror: a unique window into the Middle East

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The people of Paris have woken up to the worst attack on French soil since the days of the Algerian war, in 1961. 12 people, 10 of whom have done nothing more than practice the rights provided for them were killed for exercising those very rights; the other 2 being police officers, one of them Muslim, who were tasked with patrolling the area as a result of the office receiving death threats. This provides further evidence and proof, if they were needed, that terrorism is indiscriminate and follows no religion or belief. However, what seems to have been missed in all the chaos that followed the attacks, and all the articles that have been composed as a result, is how common such attacks are in other places around the world. [pullquote] On average, in Syria over 153 people were killed daily between March 2011 and August 2014. That gives a total of over 191,000 deaths. [/pullquote]

Terrorism, in all its forms, is deplorable; of that there is no doubt, and that is a view shared by the majority of people living in Paris, London, Baghdad and Damascus. However, unfortunately, those living in Baghdad and Damascus are forced to witness the shocking reality of terrorism much more than those living in Paris and London. In fact, it has become the norm. Therefore, blood spilt in those areas appears to be worth less than blood spilt on the streets of London or Paris.

Unfortunately, on Thursday, the people of Iraq awoke to another day of violence, terror and bloodshed. 23 people, mostly Shia Muslims, were killed by various forms of terrorism; 60 were also injured. By no stretch of the imagination would Thursday be considered an especially bad day either, how can it be after massacres such as the Speicher massacre (1700 trainee soldiers executed in cold blood on the shores of the Euphrates river), carried out in June, are still fresh in the memories of the population. It is a similar situation in Syria where, on average, over 153 people were killed daily between March 2011 and August 2014. That gives a total of over 191,000 deaths.

The attack carried out on the streets of Paris yesterday is shocking and disgusting, and is condemned by every sane human being walking the planet. Such attacks are only spillage from the conflict currently going on in Syria and Iraq and thankfully are rare, which is more than can be said for Iraq and Syria. Hopefully, once everything is resolved, the perpetrators caught and the victims mourned, an understanding can arise; an understanding that the horror witnessed as a result of deeply misguided individuals is not a rare occurrence in some areas of the globe but a normal daily occurrence. And therefore attacks such as the Paris attacks provide a unique opportunity for the general public to fully understand the situation in the Middle East; an opportunity that needs to be fully capitalised in order for the horror of living in Iraq and Syria to be fully deduced. A horror that, directly or indirectly, the French and British governments have played an important role in making a reality.

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