EMMA LEWELL-BUCK: We must not blame the Paris attacks on Islam or refugees

Police in Paris. Photo: PA
Police in Paris. Photo: PA

Last weekend saw horrific attacks by ISIS in Paris, and everyone who watched the events unfold felt a sense of shock and despair. The whole world stood in solidarity with France

 The solutions to tackling terrorism are complex, yet in the wake of such atrocities Governments and the International Community need to act cooperatively to protect their citizens whether they be home or abroad.

 The Home Secretary announced this week that rigorous checks would be undertaken by the Border Force, that our intelligence and security services would be bolstered and that police presence across the UK was to increase.

 The Prime Minster also announced that a further £2billion would made available for military investment. These are welcome measures but it is disappointing that the Government have been unable to answer how they can increase police presence while pressing ahead with cuts to forces or how they will fund this military investment.

 It is also important that in the coming weeks we all work to dispel the myth that this attack was in the name of Islam, or any other religion, or that refugees are responsible for this horrendous attack.

 Muslims around the world have condemned these attacks and many refugees are actually fleeing ISIS themselves. This is a time for unity and strength in the face of these barbaric acts not division.

 Readers will also be aware that our own Michael O’Connor, from Shields, was in the Bataclan Theatre on Friday night. His bravery saved his own and his girlfriend’s life. I am sure everyone will join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to Michael, his girlfriend, and everyone around the world who has suffered, or is suffering, at the hands of ISIS.