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Shia Rights Watch’s Response to Paris Attacks

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The events that occurred in the past couple of days has stunned the world, including the staff here at Shia Rights Watch. ISIS-coordinated terrorist attacks around Paris, France took the lives of 129 people and injured hundreds more on Friday night. The attacks, which all occurred within an hour, involved a series of suicide bombings and shootings, the worst of which was a suicide bombing and shooting at the Bataclan Concert Hall at 9:40pm which killed 89 people. Shia Rights Watch grieves with the survivors, families of the victims and the French people.

These attacks have highlighted the threat that international terrorism poses to the western world. The surprise and devastation of these attacks elicited an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity and support for the French. President Obama, deemed the events on Friday as an attack on the civilized world and has coordinated with the French authorities to provide intelligence for coordinated airstrikes against ISIS positions in Syria.

While there was a tremendous outpouring of support for the victims of the attack in Paris, international support was lacking when ISIS militants carried out bombings in Beirut, Lebanon and Baghdad, Iraq. As reported in our most recent news update which was posted hours before the attacks in Paris, scores of people were killed and injured during these attacks. In the past month there have been vastly unreported attacks in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Nigeria, Syria, and other places around the world. As we do each time an attack such as these occur, we condemn them and appeal for action to be taken by the states affected in conjunction with the international community to halt these atrocities.

There is a remarkable inconsistency in the coverage of the attacks facilitated by ISIS militants and it seems as if attacks against Shia Muslims are largely disregarded. Many people on social media have raised the fact that the Beirut and Baghdad bombings were overlooked but the attention paid to these attacks have only occurred as a result of what happened in France. While this attack in France is novel, attacks such as this occur against Shia Muslims on a weekly basis. ISIS has the blood of thousands of Shia Muslims on their hands but many around the world will never know because these attacks largely receive coverage outside of the countries in which they occur.

Our mission at Shia Rights Watch has been to bring attention to attacks against Shia Muslims and advocate for the protection of their rights. Unfortunately, the attack in Paris has highlighted how much work is left to be done because the world has largely ignored what occurs against Shia Muslims in favor of events that occur in the “Civilized World”.

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