Ireland Should Respond to Charlie Hebdo Attacks by Ending its Support for Wars Linked to Terrorism

As Europe comes to terms with the recent brutal acts of violence in Paris, Shannonwatch calls for measured and responsible responses from governments, religious leaders and others in positions of influence. In keeping with this call, their monthly peace vigil at Shannon Airport this Sunday 11th January called for an end to the US military use of the airport and demonstration of a more positive neutrality from Ireland.

"We unequivocally condemn the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the killings that took place in Paris in the past week" said a Shannonwatch spokesperson. "There is no justification for such violence".

"Incidents of extreme and unjustified violence, combined with discrimination and racism, are occurring with increasingly regularity in societies in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Western world. The atrocities committed in France the most recent example but there has also been a significant increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across Europe, as well as anti-Christian attacks and persecution associated with conflicts in several Middle Eastern states".

Shannonwatch supports and advocates for all human rights, including the right to freedom of expression. However all rights and all aspects of freedom carry responsibilities, and it is essential that responsibility is exercised by all societies and by political leaders and media outlets to avoid inflaming racism and discrimination. This must be borne in mind when publishing materials that are deemed offensive, particularly by minority communities.

"We also cannot ignore the fact that Western powers have created instability and engaged in conflicts that have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims" said the Shannonwatch spokesperson. "The conflicts in these and other countries have contributed to the rise in terrorism that we are sadly now seeing."

"Irish Government collaboration with the US Military at Shannon makes us Irish complicit in the suffering and loss of life in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan and other places that American bombs, drones, depleted uranium and white phosphorus have been used. And we have supported US renditions and torture. We must therefore take responsibility for our part in the rise of conflict and terrorism around the world."

Shannonwatch call for an immediate end to the US military use of Shannon Airport, and to the development of a policy of positive neutrality by Ireland that promotes peace, justice and human rights for all.

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