It’s important to remember that the threat of violent terrorism has not gone away.
Paris, France got a tragic reminder of that on Friday when a gunman shot multiple people dead to target a specific group: the Kurdish.
Protests are now rocking the French capital as people respond to the wanton act of targeted violence.
Three people got killed and three were seriously injured after the Kurdish community center in Paris was attacked by an armed individual.
Kurds live in Iraq, Syria, and Iran as well as other countries. They are often hated and targeted by extremist Muslims, such as ISIS.
Kurds are also subject to racist attacks and prejudice in western nations, where hate against immigrants is on the rise.
Earlier on Friday near Paris’ Gare Du Nord train station, a suspect named William M. began firing on the Kurdish community center before being forcibly disarmed by police.
The Kurds in Paris feel they are not being protected enough by French authorities; a dozen French police have been hurt by protesters throwing rocks at them and fighting them.
The region close to d’Enghien Street in Paris was where the attacker was arrested and is also where protests from the Kurdish community started up.
Protesters clash with police after a deadly shooting at a Kurdish center in Paris. Angry residents took to the streets as police in riot gear cordoned off the area around Rue d’Enghien, where the attacker had been arrested earlier. #France pic.twitter.com/pcp8d3fHfm
— Juris 🛰 (@JurisAbramenko) December 23, 2022
Riots Break Out
The riots have become quite intense with a dozen officers injured and fires being lit in parts of the city near the attack.
Tear gas has been deployed and protesters have begun to also rip up benches and other things along the street.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said that the attack was done by a “right-wing” extremist and all of Paris feels targeted by this hate.
She said Kurds deserve to feel safe and live in “peace” and that Paris stands beside them in this “dark time.”
Angry Kurds clash with police in Paris after a suspected far right gunman killed four at a Kurdish cultural centre. pic.twitter.com/70JRm2aIYr
— Rory Mulholland (@mulhollandrory) December 23, 2022
Kurds say they heard rumors that threats were being made against them, but France’s minister of the interior, Gerald Darmanin, cast doubt on the idea that Kurds specifically were targeted.
According to him, this appears to have been a hate attack against anybody “foreign in general,” rather than their specific group.
He will be holding a special event to discuss threats against Kurds and immigrants more widely.
French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed concern over the incident. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne called it a hateful act that’s horrified the whole country.
The Bottom Line
Racist violence needs to be called out whenever it happens; this certainly appears to be a case of that.
While there are genuine tensions and problems with immigration and integration in places like France, violence and murder are never the answer.
Let’s hope the protests die down and vulnerable communities feel they are getting the protection they need.