Bishop of Durham warns against Islamophobia after Paris attacks
The Bishop of Durham has warned against Islamophobia in reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks.
Rt Rv Paul Butler draws attention to the tragedy that occurs when people blame refugees for the very actions from which they are fleeing in their home nations.
Bishop Butler said: "The events in Paris last Friday night were deeply tragic. We stand with the people of Paris and France in prayer and a determination to stand firm for liberty for all people. We must also stand with the people of Baghdad where 43 died in similar attacks.
"These attacks should in no way be used to encourage antagonism towards refugees fleeing the very same terror in their homelands, nor encourage Islamophobia."
His words come after a series of attacks in Paris were carried out by ISIS on Friday, killing at least 129 people.
Durham and the North East marked the tragedy with a minute's silence at 11am on Monday. Durham Cathedral joined landmarks around the world in projecting the tricolore flag onto the building in solidarity with the city.
In September, Bishop Butler called the North East of England to lead in the country's response to the refugee crisis on the ground.
"We do also have to play our part in responding to the exodus into Europe. National Government, local councils, communities, and individuals all need to play their part together. Churches, and other faith communities should be part of offering welcome, sanctuary and support to thousands of people whose plight is desperate.
"This humanitarian response will not resolve the long term issues that are very complex. But it is a proper response to people who are beloved human beings just like us."