After Paris: no to imperialist wars, no to Islamophobia, no to attacks on refugees

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We are horrified by the attacks in Paris: we join in mourning the dead, and send our condolences to the loved ones of those who have died.

These attacks are part of the war raging across the Middle East, including the deaths of 40 people killed in Beirut and 17 killed in Baghdad on Friday by suicide bombers.

That war is tearing apart Syria in particular. According to the United Nations, over 200,000 have been killed, primarily by the Assad regime, but also by ISIS and Russian and American bombing. In Egypt, over 3,000 have been killed since Sisi’s regime came to power. Sisi was welcomed to London by Cameron earlier this month.

The vast majority of these dead are Muslim people. It is this tidal wave of death in the Middle East that is bringing people to Europe as refugees. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, both here and throughout the world. We stand in solidarity with France’s Muslim community who have experienced racism from the French state for decades, and now face the prospect of a further backlash as Hollande promises to “fight this war”.

We welcome refugees to Britain, and call for open borders to grant refuge to people fleeing from the kind of violence we have seen in Paris. We reject any attempt to use the Paris attacks to whip up hostility to refugees.

The current war in Syria can only be understood in the context of decades of disastrous intervention by both Western and Russian governments in Middle East and central Asia. The Russian invasion of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 led to a million deaths. It was followed by US-led invasion after 9/11 in which over 300,000 more Afghans died. The US-led war in Iraq killed over 500,000 people according to research by the Lancet. The US destruction of Iraq also creating the conditions for the growth of ISIS, as even Blair now concedes.

All of this is summed up by the slogan “your wars: our dead” raised by France’s New Anticapitalist Party. Part of ISIS’s aim in the Paris attacks is to inflame the conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims which already exist in Europe and America. More bombs and more racism will do nothing to stop the ever-increasing spiral of violence of which these attacks are a part.

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