Bristol Labour MPs’ joint statement on Paris attacks

The attacks that shook Paris last Friday were a reminder of the threat of extremism to us all. Our thoughts are with all those who were killed and injured, and their loved ones.

Bristol is rich in diversity, welcoming as a City of Sanctuary, and this is one of the things that makes Bristol such a great place. It’s vital that we don’t allow these attacks to sow division in our city and our society, or undermine our fundamental values. To do so would be a victory for ISIS, and all other groups that oppose democracy. Now more than ever, we need communities across Bristol to come together to defeat radicalisation and terrorism.

Like with previous terrorist attacks, Bristol’s Muslim community has been quick to condemn what happened in Paris last Friday. The extremism of ISIS bears little resemblance to the faith followed by the vast majority of Muslims in Bristol and throughout the UK. Despite this, there’s much progress still to be made in tackling radicalisation, and we need to ensure that authorities are properly engaging with members of the Muslim community to do so.

As well as looking at our domestic policies towards terrorism, this must also be a time to reflect on our approach to foreign policy. Clearly, we must ensure that Britain’s response to the attacks in Paris is considered. One that both assures the safety of our citizens and is mindful of our international responsibilities.

This vigil is a perfect demonstration of unity in the face of extremist aggression, and a chance to show solidarity with the French people. Working together, we will overcome the hateful ideology that led to these attacks.

Thangam Debbonaire
Labour MP for Bristol West

Kerry McCarthy
Labour MP for Bristol East

Karin Smyth
Labour MP for Bristol South