Fight Back against the #ParisAttacks: Spread Tolerance

I am fighting back against the horrible attacks in Paris by spreading a message of tolerance for all religions, including Islam.


I don’t discuss politics on the Internet. This is different. This is my small strike back against the evil that manifested in Paris last night.

I’m generally dismissive of social media activism for often over-simplifying discussions of complex issues into us vs. them shouting matches. This is different. This is very much an us vs. them shouting match, in which we are members of a multi-cultural global civil society and they are zealots who want to start an “apocalyptic ‘war of civilizations.'”

I share the belief that the goal of the Paris attacks is to eliminate the “grayzone” of Moderate Islam by triggering Islamophobic backlash in the non-Islamic world. It is the same goal of the other recent atrocities attributed to the self-proclaimed Islamic State: the bombings in Beirut; the downing of the Russian airliner; the bombings in Ankara. These terrorists believe in a black and white conflict between Radical Islam and the entire rest of the world, and these attacks are their way to make that vision a reality.

Their strategy is sickeningly straightforward:

  1. Commit atrocities in the name of Islam against the non-Islamic world;
  2. The non-Islamic world will turn against *all* Muslims;
  3. Moderate Muslims will be forced to give up Islam entirely OR join the Islamic State.

There’s a big weak spot in this strategy: it depends on us to behave like them.


This is our opportunity to fight back! Do not allow the perpetrators of these attacks to be proved right by our words and deeds, nor our inaction against the words and deeds of others, in response to their horrible acts of evil. This is a time when spreading messages of tolerance and love on social media actually can have an impact.

I stand with the majority of Muslims in the world, who are equally devastated by these attacks, to show the enemies of civilization that it is *all of us together* versus them.

By no means is this alone a panacea. These events have made clear that the threat from the self-proclaimed Islamic State is much bigger and closer than most of us had hoped. Unfortunately, the hard work and sacrifice required of government officials, diplomats, armed forces, and first responders all over the world may be far from over. But this is also a propaganda war being fought on our home turf, and those of us not in a position to take direct action IRL can make a difference with our voices online.

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