Paris Attacks

Tim Farron MP writes…If we allow fear to win, then really we have lost.

In the aftermath of the atrocities on Friday, my thoughts remain with the families of those killed and injured. As the world watches on in collective horror and mourning, the families and friends of those who are lost will be dealing with their own private grief, and among the discussions of international response and foreign policy consequences we must not forget that each of the 129 who have died is a personal tragedy as well as a global one.

As events unfolded over the weekend the political stage was crowded, in most cases with people simply responding to events, but also with those desperately using it to justify their own positions or forward their own agendas.

It is critical that political leaders here in the UK fight the temptation to do the same, and instead work together to understand the facts before attempting to state with confidence what should or shouldn’t be done, at home and abroad, in response to the attacks.

I hope all parties will be united in their belief that fear cannot be allowed to win. Whether that fear manifests itself in the people of Paris no longer taking part in the activities they love- like music, football and eating. Or whether it’s a more sinister form of fear which leads people to attack Islam, blame genuine refugees and judge vengeance as the number of bombs dropped instead of the number of further lives saved in the so called war on terror.

If we, as leaders, allow fear to win, then really we have lost. ISIS and everything they stand for is the antithesis of our open, liberal society. So as we develop responses and policies to ensure that this does not happen again, we must also be vigilant in our protection of the very values that are being targeted.