Following the attacks in Paris on Friday night Twitter users expressed a range of emotions regarding the tragic incident which has left over 100 dead. While people around the world sent condolences, many others reacted without thinking, making assumptions and racist and hateful statements.
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Conservative French Politician Philippe de Villiers issued comments via Twitter insinuating that freedom of religion was to blame for the attacks.
"Immense drama in Paris, this is what permissiveness and mosqueization has led to in France," he stated via Twitter, referring to the French authorities granting permission to practitioners of the Muslim faith to build mosques:
Immense drame a Paris, voilà où nous a conduit le laxisme et la mosqueïsation de la France.— Philippe de Villiers (@PhdeVilliers) November 13, 2015
The Paris attacks also sparked reactions from conservatives in the United States including Steve Kakauer, a former content producer for CNN, who used the attacks as an attempt to minimize the acts of discrimination facing Black students at the University of Missouri:
Paris is what the real enemies of diversity and freedom look like. It’s not your college presidents, students. THIS is hatred, oppression.— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) November 13, 2015
Well known French Twitter user Albert Chennoufmeyer called on the government to impose restrictions on the right to practice religon.
"This time, the state has to make some radical decisions, starting with shutting down all the mosques, all of them. the Muslims have to speak out."
Cette fois ci, l'Etat doit prendre des décisions radicales en commençant par fermer toutes les mosquées, toutes.Les musulmans doivent parler— albert chennoufmeyer (@chennoufmeyer) November 13, 2015
The French constitution, however, protects religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally enforces these protections.
Nevertheless, in recent years various laws and policies have been enacted imposing restrictions on religious expression in public as well as monitoring of minority religious group activities.
An estimated five to 6 million Muslims – 8 to 10 percent of the population – make Islam the second largest religion in the country.
Conversely, Twitter user Dan Holloway highlighted the painful irony of blaming immigrants and refugees for the Paris attacks stating, “To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from?”
To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..?— Dan Holloway (@RFCdan) November 13, 2015
Meanwhile, some Muslim Twitter users condemned the attack saying, “As a Muslim, I am more furious than anyone about the #ParisAttack.”
As a Muslim, I am more furious than anyone about the #ParisAttack. Why? Because we condemn and condemn yet we continue receiving hatred.— عمر فلسطين (@WeTeachLifeSir_) November 13, 2015
The Wikileaks Twitter account also took time to address the incident, highlighting the glaring double standard when it comes to mourning the deaths of Europeans in comparison to innocent civilians in Syrian and Iraq.
At least 39 dead tonight in Paris terror atacks. 250k dead in Syria & Iraq. Both a direct result of US, UK, France feeding Sunni extremists.— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 13, 2015