Thoughts on the Paris attacks: Social media, Eiffel Tower, religion and the Eagles of Death Metal

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There really aren’t words to explain the multitude of feelings after what happened yesterday in Paris, but I’ve had random thoughts float in and out as I processed all the death.

The attack has killed 129 people as of this post. To put that into context, this is the worst violence in terms of human casualties on France soil since World War II.

At least 89 of the 129 were killed at the Bataclan music venue where the American band Eagles of Death Metal were in the midst of their European tour.

From The Guardian:

Three coordinated teams of jihadi gunmen struck at six different sites across Paris in a bloody wave of suicide bombings and shootings that left nearly 130 people dead.

Across social media, tens of thousands have reposted an image of Paris’ most-famous landmark, The Eiffel Tower, forming the interior of a peace sign. The image was created by artist Jean Jullien and posted onto his Twitter and Instagram.

peace for paris eiffel tower sketch image twitter

peace sign eiffel tower for paris sketch instagram

Many are re-posting (and putting up variations of) Jullien’s image with the hashtag “#PrayersForParis” which I found confusing since Jullien’s originals did not include any religious context (and very likely purposely left out religious sentiment). Instead both his social media posts said “Peace for Paris”.

The intent and heart of the social media users are in the right place, but placing religious significance that is already bloodied with religion is misplaced.

Are social media users thoughtfully adding the hashtag or are they just concerned with hearts and likes? As my friend asked “do people really think prayer is the answer? people are dying and religion is a big part of the problem.”

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