Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — The 13 November terrorist attacks on Paris were horrific, leaving 129 dead and many more injured. The day after, in Syria, another 129 people were killed as a result of terrorist activities. Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, over 250 000 people have been killed, with estimates even up to and over 300 000. The attack on France has hit a nerve for us. Perhaps it is because, as the City of Light, Paris is a cultural beacon, a component of the zeitgeist deemed beyond the touch of such abominable behaviour.
However, in our haste to support our bons amis let us not forget the others who have suffered in similar attacks. The bombing of a Russian jet on 31 October killed 224 passengers. The bombings in Beirut on 12 November killed 43 people and injured 200 more. The roadside bomb blasts in Baghdad on 13 November killed at least 26 people and injured 60 more. Like Paris, these assaults were claimed by Daesh and represent an attack on safety, freedom and peace, with ramifications worldwide. If Paris deserves our flag at half-mast, so do Beirut, Baghdad and the others harmed by Daesh. Let us not pick and choose based on cultural familiarity. We are all human, and when they hurt, we hurt.