PARIS— “In recent months, thousands of Syrian refugees have fled heinous acts of terror in the Middle East, and embarked on a life-altering and painful journey to seek safe haven in Europe so they can commit heinous acts of terror,” said Pierre Duval, a member of the National Front, an economically protectionist and socially conservative French political party. “They’re relentless, walking from the Middle East with nothing but the AK-47s and grenades they need to survive.”
Late Friday, members of the Islamic State group carried out a series of coordinated terror attacks that killed over 130 civilians in Paris. In the tragedy’s wake, voices like Duval’s have gotten louder as the debate over migrants continues amid speculation that the terrorists entered France alongside refugees from the Syrian war.
To get the other side of the story, The Quadrangle sat down with Mohammed Abadi, a middle-aged Syrian refugee who made his way to France to escape IS in Syria.
When the violence began Friday night, Abadi, his wife, and their three children had just stepped off the Paris metro, finally putting an end to months of restless trekking and unease. All of a sudden, the family heard a familiar sound—shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’ followed by two explosions.
“Fuck me,” Abadi whispered to himself in Arabic, dropping his head in exasperation. Quickly, he and his family began to pack up their few belongings, purchase another subway ticket with their final few euros, and begin the lengthy journey home.
“If my family and I can’t escape violent extremists forcing horror and fear into our lives,” Abadi said, “We might as well live somewhere we can be distinguished from them.” When asked what he meant by that, and why he wanted to murder innocent Parisians, Abadi shook his head. “These acts are crimes against humanity.”
At press time, Abadi and his family are making their way back towards Syria, where crimes against humanity have become the status quo. And Abadi says he is growing his beard out, because he can now.