Remain united

The recent mass murders in Paris have shocked the entire civilised world.
All level-headed, reasonable and clear thinking humans – whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or atheist – are appalled by the actions of what appears to be a few crazed individuals acting on behalf of a skewed ideology.
The response by France has been swift and forceful.
Air strikes on ISIS strongholds in Syria have escalated in a concerted effort to hit back.
Such a response is entirely understandable in the wake of almost 130 cold blooded murders. However, there is some doubt if air strikes alone can succeed.
The mess that is the Middle East just got worse. Putting troops on the ground is another matter entirely and, with no easy answer or clear way forward, it is unlikely the situation will get better anytime soon.
The citizens of Paris must be on tenterhooks.
This is not the first time such madmen have attacked the city and the murders of staff of the magazine Charlie Hebdo earlier this year as well as other civilians are still fresh in people’s minds.
Even the people of Australia have a right to be concerned.
Such covert attacks are extremely difficult to prevent and our security leaders have been honest this week in saying Australia – like much of the Western world – is not immune from a similar outrage.
One must also spare a thought for the overwhelming majority of law abiding Muslim citizens in this country who have been horrified by what happened in Paris.
Australia is the envy of the world in the way we have blended people from different cultures and religions into our society.
There have been very few religious and race-based problems that have erupted to any significant extent in recent years.
The Martin Place siege and recent murder of an accountant outside a Sydney police station was the work of crazed individual and a manipulated teenager rather than that of an organised terrorist cell.
Perhaps that is due to the vigilance of our law enforcement agencies but it is vital non-Muslim Australians don’t turn on their fellow citizens. Together we can beat this.
We must be vigilant and remain united in our common goal to live in a trusting, peaceful and tolerant society.
That is the only way.