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After Terror, Choose Peace

In the days since the November 13 attacks in Paris, we have seen an outpouring of love and solidarity that can pave the path towards peace.

We have also seen cries for vengeance and violence that will only lead to more suffering.

This week, the choice between peace and war is stark, as governments gather to revive negotiations on Syria, and at the same time, move to increase bombing in Syria.

MADRE calls on the people and governments of the world to choose peace.

Choosing peace means valuing all human lives – including the 129 people killed in Paris by ISIS militants, the 43 people killed in Beirut by ISIS only the day before, the 224 people killed in a Russian plane downed by ISIS, and the 131 people killed by US-backed Saudi forces while celebrating a wedding in Yemen on September 28.

Choosing peace means holding complexities, understanding both that the US and its allies created the conditions for the rise of ISIS and that nothing justifies ISIS atrocities.

Choosing peace means ensuring that the millions of people who are refugees in Europe, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are offered care to make it through the winter and sustain hope for the future.

Choosing peace means rejecting the "clash of civilizations" ideology that has become a rallying cry of reactionary extremists, on both sides of the so-called “war on terror.”

Choosing peace means combating Islamophobia.

Choosing peace means understanding that there is no military solution to extremist violence.

Choosing peace means actively mobilizing with others to demand that governments end the war in Syria, stop their flows of weapons to the region, and implement the policies we need to uproot and prevent violent extremism.

Choosing peace means supporting people in places like Syria and Iraq who are ISIS’ first victims and who are struggling for human rights, women's rights and self-determination in their countries.

The finest way to honor those killed and grieving – in Paris and throughout the world – is to choose peace.

November 16, 2015  / Middle East / Iraq / Syria / Building a Just Peace