Click to read the full text of Jack Woods' moving and thought-provoking address to the whole school.
Last week, on Friday 13th
of November, a tragic event happened in the city of Paris.
Islamic state terrorists
killed at least 132 innocent people across the city in an act of revenge
against France for being involved in the war in Syria.
When I finished school on
Saturday, I read about the attack, and was overwhelmed with sadness when I
realised the mourning that people were going through in France and across the
world, all because of this barbaric and cowardly act.
We are at a time now more
than ever when we need tolerance between religions. The massacre in Paris was
because of intolerance between religions. Over 100 innocent lives were lost on
the basis of different beliefs. The problem is as big as it has been for many
years yet we have not found a way to heal our relationships with many
middle-eastern countries. Retaliation is not an option, for that would make us
no better than them. If we cannot put a stop to terrorism then the lives that
we lead will be stricken with the fear of not knowing if we are safe to fly in
a plane or take a ride in a bus.
Terrorism is an international
problem in today’s global community. Many nations are affected, whether
directly or indirectly. Most nations oppose terrorism, while others condone or
even support active, brutal terrorism and terrorist groups.
Terrorism is defined by the US
State Department to contain three elements. The first is a threat of violence
or an act of violence. Next is a political objective. Lastly, is that violence
and the threat of violence is a direct attack on civilians making civilians a
Terrorist groups seek to
cause widespread disruption, fear and intimidation. They use violence or the
threat of violence as a means of publicising their causes, motivating those who
might be sympathetic to them and intimidating those who do not sympathise. They
often aim to influence government policies and they often reject existing
democratic processes, or even democracy itself, as a means of achieving their
In recent years, terrorism
seems to be at a new high and attacks are more violent than in the past. With
terrorism being so secretive and having no forewarning, it has been a real
problem to deal with. The governments of many countries have tried to stop
these cowardly acts, but they just seem to be on the rise.
Terrorism has become a global
threat and needs to be controlled from the grass root level to the international
level. The world has to unite in order
to face this growing threat of terrorism. Let us hope that the world will be
free from this hazard very soon. Without terrorism, the world would become a
better and happier place to live in.
David Cameron has said he is
“shocked” by the attacks, adding: “we will do whatever we can to help.” The
world has united to support the French people and to offer our condolences to
all the families affected.
I hope that some day soon
there will be complete peace between religions and that there will be no need
to fear attacks like these, because to take an innocent life in this way is
The president of France has
declared 3 days of mourning for those who lost their lives only a few days ago.
But for many the mourning will go on for much longer, as they cry for friends
and family that are no longer with them. Does it not seem silly that so much
damage is being caused, so many innocent people are being killed, purely
because of religion. Surely religion was created to bring people together, not
to push people apart, as it seems to be doing at the moment.
It is so sad to watch and
hear what has happened in Paris, and I hope that we stay united to support the
people of France for the coming weeks. Our thoughts and prayers should be with
all the families affected by this terrible event as they grieve the loss of
their loved ones.
Thank you for listening