Paris will never be the same after last night, and as the French mourn their dead - and we all mourn with them - the reality is that Friday 13 November will inevitably leave a permanent scar on the face of this beautiful city, just like 9/11 did to New York or 7/7 did to London.
However, just like New York, London, Madrid, Riyadh, Beirut and other cities which have been and continue to be hit by terror, Paris will find a way to go on, despite this being the second attack in the French capital this year and the worst since WWII.
What France should also always remember is that this particular scar is a reminder that no good deed goes unpunished - and that the terrorists responsible stand against the historic, hard-fought French values of liberté, égalité and fraternité!
Paris will find a way to go on despite this being the second attack in the French capital this year and the worst since WWIIFaisal J. Abbas
Not only does France seek to live by these honorable values, but unlike many other influential Western democracies, it also sought for others - who were far less privileged - to enjoy the same rights.
Indeed, the French MUST be applauded for being among the few who stood side-by-side by the Syrian people in their legitimate revolution against the tyrannical regime of Bashar al-Assad.
France was always in the lead - through both actions and words - in trying to stop this regime slaughtering its own people who wanted nothing but to enjoy the same freedoms and equality as people do in Paris.
France commands much respect from Arab allies who share its vision and determination to rid the region from both terrorist groups and murderous regimesFaisal J. Abbas
Yet, Assad’s bloody retaliation and management of the situation left the world an atrocity which has killed more than 300,000 people and displaced millions of Syrians since 2011. Only France and a handful of countries cared enough to take action.
The French also stood their ground and refused to be played by Damascus and its allies in Tehran and Moscow in their attempt to paint Assad as the only viable alternative to ISIS (whom Assad helped create by releasing a number of its leaders from his prisons in the early days of the Syrian revolution to reach this exact conclusion).
Paris’s position has been solid and crystal clear: it refused to have to choose between two evils and paired its firm anti-Assad stance with joining the global coalition to degrade and destroy the military capabilities of ISIS.
This is why France commands much respect from Arab allies who share its vision and determination to rid the region from both terrorist groups and murderous regimes.
While most of the world has been busy declaring solidarity with France, it was only Assad who sought to politicize this sad moment to lecture FranceFaisal J. Abbas
Inevitably, it also attracts the wrath of the likes of ISIS and Assad who wouldn’t refrain from using any means to force Paris off the righteous course it has set itself.
How else can anyone justify that while most of the world has been busy declaring solidarity with France, it was only Assad who sought to politicize this sad moment to lecture France that the attacks were a direct result of their “wrong” policies in the region.
Of course, a “wrong” policy - according to the likes of Assad - is probably anything they don’t agree with. However, what Assad failed to mention in his comments is that his Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun had passionately warned back in 2011 that Syria would send suicide bombers to attack Europe the moment a bomb is dropped (on Syria) - the video below says it all!
Faisal J. Abbas is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English, he is a renowned blogger and an award-winning journalist. Faisal covered the Middle East extensively working for Future Television of Lebanon and both Al-Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat pan-Arab dailies. He blogs for The Huffington Post since 2008, and is a recipient of many media awards and a member of the British Society of Authors, National Union of Journalists, the John Adams Society as well as an associate member of the Cambridge Union Society. He can be reached on @FaisalJAbbas on Twitter.
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