Terror will not prevail: Pax Christi International on the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris

November 14, 2015 -- We were still shocked by the two suicide bombings which killed over 40 people and left injured more than 180 people in southern Beirut on Thursday when we got the news of a series of brutal assaults in Paris on Friday evening that have killed more than 120 people and left injured hundreds more. Those despicable attacks, presumably authored by members of the so-called Islamic State, have taken once more hundreds of victims and have brought pain and deep distress to numerous families and communities.

Pax Christi International and all its member organisations repudiate those terrorist actions and stand in deep solidarity with the victims and their families in Beirut, Paris and elsewhere. And we encourage them to have hope. We deeply believe that terror will not prevail and that the memories of those who have been killed will inspire sustainable solutions to indiscriminate violence.

In reflecting about those cruel events we believe that this is not about the people in Beirut and Paris only; this is about our human community, which keeps struggling to find ways to appropriately deal with terror and violence. We need to find them for this nonsensical bloodshed to stop.

It keeps being so easy to use armed violence in revenge, to justify it as the best way to solve ongoing bloody conflicts, and to offer it to citizens as the only source of security; however, military operations distract us from core components of this terror. Terrorist groups, such as the so-called Islamic State, keep increasing their wealth and their military power and for that to stop, a number of international connections have to be cut. So far, guns have not helped us to eradicate violent extremism; state institutions need to be far more creative and transparent in finding ways to do it, backed by imaginative responses already being developed by civil society organizations.

We mourn and pray for the victims of those merciless attacks, their families and communities, and we stand in solidarity with the people and organisations around the world trying to deal with root causes of violence and terror. We believe that, together, we can make this a better world for all.

Read other messages from our member organisations here:

Pax Christi France -- Beyrouth, Paris, deux stations d’un tragique chemin de Croix. Est-ce que ce sont les dernières? Malgré le sentiment d’horreur qui nous accable et notre profonde tristesse pour les victimes et leurs familles, ne nous laissons pas aveugler par la colère et la peur! "Là où il y a de la haine, que nous mettions de l’amour, là où il y a les ténèbres, que nous mettions ta lumière" -- Saint François d’Assise [Beirut, Paris, two stations of a tragic path cross. Is it that it is the last? Despite the horror that overwhelms us and our deep sorrow for the victims and their families, let us not be blinded by anger and fear! "Where there is hatred, let us sow your love, where there is darkness, let there be light." Saint Francis of Assisi]

Pax Christi Germany is in solidarity with the victims of the attack in Paris and their families. Translated excerpt: “This should not be regarded as a declaration of war, but as a crime that must be prosecuted … [with] European and international cooperation. … We pray for the dead of Paris, who lost their lives in a cowardly attack against peace and human cooperation!”

National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP)  in Pakistan sends this message.

Pax Christi USA shares its message of solidarity.

Pax Christi Flanders is heavily affected by the attacks on Paris and expresses their deep sympathy to all the victims and survivors and their affinity with the Parisians. Translated excerpt: “At the same time, we deplore the many … attacks elsewhere in the world. […] Pax Christi Flanders therefore calls for immediate measures to put an end to wars [in Syria and Iraq] and promote safety for everyone.” Following Pax Christi International Pax Christi Flanders insists that military action against violence should not be considered as the only possible. 

Pax Christi Wallonie-Bruxelles posts this reflection, “And now what do we do?” Translated excerpt: “Attacks like the one in Paris provoke the hunt for scapegoats. It seems easy to confuse those who kill in the name of Islam [with] all Muslims. […]This is the trap that […] must be avoided. However, avoiding generalisations should not exempt us from taking our responsibilities. Let's face it, we abandoned the youth in Molenbeek, Schaerbeek, Saint-Josse and all these districts throughout Belgium where a precarious population is … subjected to racism and discrimination. We need to massively reinvest these neighborhoods.”

Pax Christi Italy’s new statement expresses solidarity with the Parisians and also commemorates the attacks on Charlie Hebdo 10 month ago. To prevent further violence, Italy has to “stop the sale of weapons and to make economic agreements with those who are directly involved in these deadly projects. […] We have to build a policy of peace with peaceful means, prevention in our cities and among our young people, dialogue between religions and a civilization of law.”

Pax Christi UK shares a range of articles/comment on the events that took place in Paris.

PAX Netherlands on Paris attacks: “We must strongly condemn this violence. We must reaffirm our determination and commitment [and] not let ourselves be guided by the fear that wants to sow terror ...” Furthermore, PAX wants to raise awareness of the bitter reality in Syria. PAX director Jan Gruiters’ speech at the political council of the Workers' Party of Belgium on 14 November is available here.