Although the perpetrators of the Paris attacks remain unknown, Jeff Duncan, a Republican congressman from South Carolina, took to Twitter to say that the tragedy shows Europe and America shouldn't let in Syrian refugees because it might lead to more attacks.
How's that Syrian refugee resettlement look now? How about that mass migration into Europe? Terrorism is alive & well in the world. #No— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) November 14, 2015
As Dan Holloway tweeted earlier tonight, this assumption is misguided:
To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..?— Dan Holloway (@RFCdan) November 13, 2015
Again, we still don't know who's to blame for the Paris attacks — so we don't know if a jihadist group was involved, or even what the motives were. But if a jihadist group is the culprit, these kinds of terrorist organizations are exactly the kind of danger that many Syrian refugees are fleeing from. It is ISIS, after all, that has terrorized Syria — and forced people to flee their home country to find refuge from the violence.
The horror of the Paris attacks, then, should help us empathize with the plight of the Syrian refugees — they're trying to avoid the same kind of pitiless massacres that occurred in France. We should be more sympathetic to what Syrians are going through after tonight, not less.
Furthermore, jihadist groups have been recruiting some European citizens — such as ISIS's infamous Jihadi John, a British citizen. So the assumption that only foreigners would be to blame for a terrorist attack in France is not sound.