UC students react to Paris terrrorist attack

Amanda Paladino Staff Writer

France is a home to millions of people- families, men, women, children and students comparable to many at Utica College. But on the evening of Friday, Nov. 13, Paris became a home to horror. Islamic extremists now confirmed to have been affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS coordinated shootings, explosions, and the execution of hostages. Combined, these atrocities claimed 130 lives and injured 367 more. France will remain in a state of emergency for three months. President Francois Hollande has officially declared war with ISIS and is calling for an international coalition against the Islamic State. Meanwhile, international reactions are two-fold; responses of sorrow are paired with terror. Consequently, an international security dilemma has stemmed from what many consider to be the worst humanitarian crisis in our world today. The recent terrorist attacks on Paris have instilled fear across the United States and throughout Europe, while many suspect that terrorists connected to ISIS might be using the refugee crisis in Syria to enter other countries. Rampant debates in powerful Western nations between citizens and their government are unfolding, as humanitarian ideals clash with notions of national security. Jalal Jamshiddy, an economics major and a junior at UC who has previously lived in Afghanistan, expressed his dismay regarding the Paris attacks. “This outrageous attack is a disaster to the international community,” Jamshiddy said. He also declared his denouncement of the events as an injustice, and hopes this will be the end of terrorist crimes. Sophomore Emily Rembetski, a neuroscience major with a French minor, is studying abroad in France this semester. “The shock still hasn’t worn off yet,” Rembetski said, recalling the attacks. “When it comes to terrorists, the world has to stick together. What they want is to divide us, and we cannot let that happen. We do not give in to terrorists.” Rembetski’s reference concerning division is relevant to arguments between U.S. citizens, as the nation experiences a noticeable divide between supporters and nonsupporters of Syrian refugees. While the perspective that U.S government should focus on ensuring domestic safety before extending assistance to refugees exists, others declare that such an attitude is immoral. UC students, including Rembetski and Jamshiddy, claimed that Syrian refugees are no different than the victims of the Paris attacks. “They are running from absolute terror worse than the attacks in Paris, and they have nowhere to go,” Rembetski said. She believes Syrians also have a strong chance of forming radical mindsets while stranded in refugee camps. According to a poll by the Arab Center for Research and policy taken this past Nov.1 out of 8 Syrian refugees in Arab countries have a positive view of ISIS. Rembetski, along with other UC students, have drawn connections between the current crisis in Syria and past wars, claiming that ignoring refugees is comparable to shutting out the Jewish during WWII. Rembetski also noticed similarities between the hesitant mindset of the French government and that of the U.S. France’s president faces the astronomical challenges of refusing to show fear towards ISIS terrorists while ensuring the safety of not only French citizens, but Syrians seeking refuge. Much like in the U.S., while some of the French fully support Hollande, others argue he should be more wary. “We cannot let the terrorists instill fear, that is what they want,” Rembetski said. “Everyone around the world has shown love and support for Paris.”