The 2015 Paris attacks include two major series of terrorist attacks in various locations of France. The first series, that took place during 7-9 January in France’s very populous Île-de-France region. Four of the five attacks have resulted in 17 deaths and 22 wounded people, and the three attackers responsible for these casualties were later eliminated by the police during the attacks. The terrorist organization Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have later declared responsibility for these attacks (Hinnant & Ganley, 2015).
The 13-14 November attacks consisted of a sequence of organized and coordinated terrorist attacks. They took place in front of the national stadium of France ‘Stade de France’, and at several restaurants and cafes, as well as in the Bataclan theatre during a concert of the Californian rock band ‘Eagles of Death Metal’. The series of mass shootings in the theater and suicide bombings in all of these locations have resulted in the death of well over a hundred people and the injury of over 400 people (Randolph & Valmary, 2015)(Reuters, 2015). Later the responsibility for the attacks had been declared by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), stating that the attacks were carried out as a retaliation for the airstrikes on ISIL objectives in Iraq and Syria. Although few of the attackers had been from Iraq, most were men born in France or Belgium. They had participated in armed conflicts in Syria and later returned with the wave of migrants, radicalized. This had been unexpected by officials investigating the attacks (Mcdonnell & Zavis, 2015).
The media coverage of these attacks was extensive across the globe. These attacks have been closely linked with the terrorists’ identity as Muslims. This has deepened the outlook towards Muslims, as well as the potential identity of perpetrators of violent crimes in general (Ismail & Mishra, 2019).
The attacks have led to a state of civilian unrest across France, as well as other Western countries. In France, the statistical data surprisingly shows no changes to public opinions on immigration and refugee policy. However, public opinions in other countries in the European Union (EU) has shifted to anti-immigrant or anti-refugee (Silva, 2018).
The public opinion regarding Muslim citizens in general, have significantly deteriorated by these series of terrorist attacks. It has fueled new life into the perception towards Muslims as ‘disloyal’ and dangerous citizens who go against state laws and jeopardize public safety, peace, and security. More noticeably, the Muslims in the world in general, are held responsible for these attacks by a small group of people. These symbolic consequences aside, Muslims in Western societies have been subjected to higher numbers of prejudiced behavior and hate crime after these attacks. Their increased insecurity is a more visible consequence of these attacks (Britton, 2015).
The global image of Muslims has worsened after the November 2015 Paris attacks. Global actions following these attacks are less extensive than that which followed the 9/11 attacks. The consequences of the series of incidents in Paris in 2020 remain to be seen in its entirety. In the prevailing global pandemic and deteriorating conditions in almost every sector, the consequences might be much more severe.
Britton, J. (2015, August 31). Muslims, Racism and Violence After the Paris Attacks. Sociological Research Online, 20(3), 1-6. doi:10.5153/sro.3736
Hinnant, L., & Ganley, E. (2015, January 10). French security forces kill gunmen, end terror rampage. Retrieved October 2020, from The Associated Press: https://apnews.com/article/5817417ce93c4030a8632c528338c005
Ismail, A., & Mishra, S. (2019). Configuring terrorism in the age of ISIS: The New York Times’ coverage of the 2015 Beirut and Paris attacks. Global Media and Communication, 1-17. doi:10.1177/1742766519846643
Mcdonnell, P. J., & Zavis, A. (2015, November 19). Slain Paris plotter’s Europe ties facilitated travel from Syria. Retrieved October 2020, from Los Angeles Times: https://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-paris-attacks-mastermind-20151119-story.html
Randolph, E., & Valmary, S. (2015, November 14). Gunmen kill more than 120 in wave of attacks across Paris. Retrieved October 2020, from Yahoo News: https://news.yahoo.com/least-120-dead-paris-attacks-investigation-source-pta-013205822.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAANlUqNgjPiqkLuBizAJlPQaNWpJI-Qj0ukdPxJDpFQQb_XsALhJxLnPM9P9Ld3ATsm3787xwl-IE3TR0cI
Reuters. (2015, November 15). Timeline of Paris attacks according to public prosecutor. Retrieved October 2020, from Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-shooting-timeline-idUSKCN0T31BS20151114
Silva, B. C. (2018). The (Non)Impact of the 2015 Paris Terrorist Attacks on Political Attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1-13. doi:10.1177/0146167217752118