Why I haven’t changed my profile picture to show support to the Paris victims.


November 25, 2015 by Cláudia


The loss of those lives was tragic. Every life that is lost before its time is a tragedy.

It was an act against nature. All these attacks have been.

I am deeply restless, I have suffered these deaths as well. This has also most definitely affected many people and that’s probably why people have changed their profile picture. To give support and pay a homage to those lives who were so mercilessly taken away.

Showing condolences is appropriate, even if you are not connected directly with the victims. Feeling others pain is human and natural. But I think there are some considerations that need to be made before following the herd and put the french flag in your profile account.

First, the french flag is associated with a country and, most significantly, a state – France. This doesn’t pay the victims a tribute as much as it shows support of France as a country, because it has nothing to do with their individual lives and what they have accomplished. Therefore, it doesn’t cherish those people. It seems more like a nationalist manifestation.

It is extremely important to detach the country from the individual as confusing them or blurring them together leads to misconceptions and unfair judgments. One country shouldn’t take blame for what individuals that live there have done, and individuals don’t necessarily agree or support the actions that the country as taken part in.

Second, to show solidarity for France as a country is to implicitly support its policies. One thing to consider is that before the attacks France (as a country) bombed the Islamic State. This is important because this action invariably cause the death of innocent people, who have nothing to do with terrorism and have nothing to do with war. People who were simply there at the wrong place and the wrong time: like the ones in France. Also, right after the attacks, the bombing continued. There will be a lot of people to argue that it is the only way to protect themselves from further attacks. I disagree, but I understand where this is coming from – innocent people died, they didn’t deserve to, we need to protect ourselves.

But isn’t a little hypocritical to show support for France when France itself has caused so many unmotivated deaths? Furthermore, isn’t it nonsensical to support France when it has caused more death than the other way around?

It is arguable that the french attacks were motivated, but what does that mean really? What is a good motive to kill indiscriminately? The terrorists also had a motive, which they thought was the most valid. What is the difference now between the terrorists and the civilized nations?

Lastly, isn’t it a little unfair to make this big demonstration of solidarity towards the french victims when they are only a little drop in the ocean of tragic deaths that happened lately? This only enhances the nationalist intention behind all this. There have been uncountable horrifying deaths at the hand of ISIS. Why suddenly all this propaganda around the ones in France? Why all the other ones have been unnoticed, namely the ones happening at Syria, where the bombs were directed?

Why do some countries matter more than others?

6 thoughts on “Why I haven’t changed my profile picture to show support to the Paris victims.

  1. I don’t really think it’s that France matters more to people than Syria, but rather that for so long Syria has been portrayed as a hotbed of terrorism and war that we became complacent. Syria became identified as a dangerous place where these things were seen as common place. Whereas France, though it has had it’s share of violence, had not to my knowledge had recent violence on such a scale, so the sense of shock and outrage was greater. In-between politicians and media all twisting events to their purpose, there are regular people also with their own views. The campaign to bomb Syria had large opposition here, mainly because of the effects it would have on the innocent Syrians caught in the middle, and that it would only intensify terrorism and not prevent it. Unfortunately the powers that be saw to their own agendas, ignoring the masses that did care about Syria. This is not to say that everyone cares, but I do remember people speaking out against terrorism in Syria, and against the policies that are tearing Syria apart. This is where media comes in. Much of the media is controlled by those in charge, people with their own agendas. Regular people who understand all terrorism is bad, feel the sadness for both, but by being inundated with one side, one side gets overshadowed. Syria doesn’t seem to matter to politicians or media, but I do believe it matters to many people. This is a lesson for us to see the whole picture when atrocities happen, and not limit our knowledge to one area or people when many places are effected.


    • Yes, I know, I’m not being judgmental towards people in general or anything! I know people are conditioned to be blind to one side of the story (and see “our” side). The media show us only one half of the picture and it is up to us to reason and think about the whole picture. I am glad you see it too.
      Thank you for the comment. 🙂


  2. realeyezlife says:

    just like America…France will be trillions of dollars in debt within the next 5 years…War is very expensive for a country and people…and very profitable for the war mongers…long story short, dropping the people’s taxes, I mean, bombs in the middle east will only lead to more terrorism…Even worse….within 10 years all of Europe will be rounding up the usual suspects – the Jews…Isis knows this – too bad Europe hasn’t learned this from the last 2 World Wars..Great blog 🙂


  3. Opher says:

    As a pacifist I find myself in a dilemma. I do not believe that war or violence creates stability. I believe violence and death traumatises people and spawns hatred. But at the same time I am loathe to sit back while callous, brutal, savages, bent into hate-filled monsters by medieval ideology, rape little girls, bury people alive, cold-bloodedly saw off peoples heads, throw them off tall buildings, stone them to death with small stones, drown and burn people in cages and claim to do all this for some loving god. They are barbarous and insane. Perhaps they need destroying?

    Liked by 1 person

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