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  • A man takes part in a hundreds of thousands of French citizens solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris Jan. 11, 2015.

    A man takes part in a hundreds of thousands of French citizens solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris Jan. 11, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 November 2015

Twitter users responded to Paris attacks in a variety of ways, some racist, and some just expressing horror.

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:

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:

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."

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?”

Meanwhile, some Muslim Twitter users condemned the attack saying, “As a Muslim, I am more furious than anyone about the #ParisAttack.”

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.


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