I was one of those who changed my Facebook profile picture to the French Flag (for the three days of mourning). I do not regret doing that and stand by the decision to do it.
I did get a little fed up with those people who criticised those of us who did show the flag by sharing a post about the Kenyan bombing saying it happened the following day but wasn’t reported on. The Kenyan bombing is something that happened last April. It was well covered at the time. The bombing that did happen was actually in Lebanon and was covered in the papers, and I’m sure the countries and people that are connected with that one showed their respect (if not why not?). I certainly thought it horrific and lit a candle for all that died by the hands of terrorism and war in all countries.
People have been sharing the Kenyan post and saying it just happened to get at people who had the French flag on profile. What makes me angry is that most of the people who are doing it, never involved themselves in any sympathy with any disaster or even cause anywhere before that I’ve seen. But suddenly get holier than thou and share something blindly without even checking the date (which shows they didn’t read the article or watch the news or read or really get involved with sympathy with that tragedy or any other. The fact they didn’t even mention the Beirut bombing just confirms they are hypocrites and jumping on the band wagon.)
France is close to home (I live in Ireland but I’m British), and they are our neighbours. It is home as we are also part of the EU. We are more involved with that country. Some of us have French blood, I do. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have sympathy for other bombings or refugees and just because I showed the French flag it doesn’t mean that’s changed. I do. I was simply showing respect to a home nation and to the people that died and were injured including British and Irish people.
Not every Muslim is a terrorist we just need much stricter checks so we can help genuine refugees, rather than not let them in. What we also have to be careful of is building up hate and fear of Muslims. Our governments and media do this. The leaders of the Muslim community though also need to show that they are horrified and start being more interactive in condemnation of terrorism. Help take away some of the fear and hate. Everyone needs to stand together.
Not everyone who showed the French flag has or had ulterior motives, just simple ones, they were showing respect to a home country. I reserve the right to do that if I wish, the same as those who want to share a post without reading it. When I showed the rainbow flag is was to show support and that I believed in gay rights and marriage (I have a gay son) not to get at anyone or to ignore any other cause.