The National Writers Union condemns in the strongest possible terms, the brutal terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on November 13. We also condemn similar attacks that took place in Beirut on November 11, at a funeral in Baghdad the previous week, and the bombing of the Russian commercial flight traveling from Sharm al-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg.
The terrorist bombings in Beirut and Baghdad got little to no mainstream press coverage and no Facebook flag filters. These cowardly attacks are aimed at unarmed civilians, most of whom are Muslims living in Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
We are especially concerned for the safety of Muslims and refugees in the wake of the Paris attacks, and will actively oppose any racist attacks against them. The combination of state and fundamentalist terror has created more than 60 million refugees—the greatest refugee crisis since the World War II. And just as Bush, Cheney & Co. used 9/11 as a pretext to destroy Iraq, setting all these bloody wheels in motion, we cannot allow Paris to become the rallying cry for more imperialist adventures.
As writers, we are well acquainted with terrorism. We speak from experience: In the U.S., Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered by Al Qeada in 2002, and freelancers James Foley and Steven Sotloff were executed by ISIS in Syria. In 2009, more than 50 journalists were massacred in the Philippines. In Palestine, more than a dozen reporters were killed and media centers targeted during the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2014. And in Pakistan, more than 100 journalists have been killed in the past 10 years by right-wing fundamentalists, and only in two cases has anyone been arrested.
These journalists, and so many more who are killed, kidnapped, threatened and jailed, do the important work of shining light on the truth, something feared by terrorists, Mafia, and many governments. We are attacked around the world, simply for reporting the news.
The NWU steadfastly opposes all threats and violence against journalists, be they from fundamentalist or state terrorists. We demonstrated this support by hosting a delegation from the Pakistani Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in our New York City headquarters on November 13—the same day as the terrorist attacks in Paris. We are both affiliates of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which is waging a global campaign to end impunity.
The world is a more dangerous place. This calls for the highest level of international solidarity of all working people. Our NY event uniting NWU and PFUJ, was a small step in the right direction.