by Angelo Manaloto
On the morning of November 14th, a grim silence descended upon the cold streets of Paris, as videos of the Islamic State (IS), claiming responsibility for the death of over a hundred Parisians, went viral across the internet. Friday the 13th marks the worst display of violence Paris had seen since the days of World War II, coming at a rather inopportune time when the memories of January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks were still fresh in the minds of the French and the world. The attacks, which spanned across six different sites in close proximity to central Paris, most notably the Stade de France and the Bataclan Theatre, resulted in the deaths of at least 129 people and injured more than 300. Subsequently, in an official statement to the press, French President Francois Hollande declared that “terrorism will not destroy the Republic.”
President Hollande has since closed off all of France’s borders and declared a three-month extension of the country’s state of emergency, the first time France has declared one since the 2005 French riots. The French president has also called an urgent UN Security Council meeting to discuss measures to be undertaken following the attacks on Friday. The reverberations of the attacks have already disturbed the policies of the greater European Union, particularly with regard to the debate on the ongoing immigration crisis. The influx of over 700,000 refugees from the Middle East this past year, of which France had pledged to accept 24,000, continues to grow in number as we speak. But today, serious questions concerning safety and security have been raised.
Just hours after the attacks, Parisians from all over the city opened their doors to house strangers amid the dark night; the response across the globe has also been one of immediate solidarity. Social media has since been rife with proclamations of fraternity, sympathy, and hope under one illustration by 32-year-old graphic designer, Jean Jullien, entitled “Peace for Paris.” The students of ISM, in the spirit of unity, have also shown their support, activating the Paris filter recently made available by Facebook, to couple their profile pictures. Speaking on the overwhelming social media response, Daniel Jachim, a current ISM senior, said that “this just goes to show ISM’s dedication to values that we all share.” Daniel also participated in the IASAS MUN conference, which on Saturday morning, started its plenary session with a moment of silence for all those who had passed.