After Paris: no to racism and imperialist wars that breed horror

The appalling killings in Paris are horrific. Our sympathy is with the victims and their families and friends.

But we must not allow this atrocity to fuel racism and Islamophobia.

Racists and right wingers will seek to use these deaths to justify more imperialist interventions and whip up Islamophobia. We must not let them be exploited to give a boost to the far right.

Some politicians will try to put up extra barriers against refugees. We should remember that many refugees are fleeing violence and war. They are not the perpetrators of murder, they are the victims of it.

In these dark times, more than ever, we say refugees welcome here, open the borders.

There is no excuse for the mass killings of innocent people on a night out in Paris. Such killings are not by any genuine definition a blow against imperialism or capitalism. They will make life harder and more dangerous for Muslims and black and Asian people. They will encourage the warmongers.

There is no excuse, but there is a context for what has happened. Two and a half centuries of colonialism and imperialism have left a bitter legacy of hatred across much of the world against the West. More than 15 years of the “war on terror” have killed over a million people and driven millions more from their homes. There is bound to be a response.

The horror in Paris last night is replicated on a brutally regular basis in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine and Yemen. Western governments or their allies have wrecked such societies and presided over mass murder. Western intervention, and its support for counter-revolution in the Arab world, produced Isis. French planes have been bombing Syria and Iraq for nearly two months.

When French forces invaded Mali in 2013 it was the eighth country where Western powers had taken military action in just four years.

Before the Paris attacks David Cameron and the British media were celebrating the claimed drone killing of “Jihadi John”. We can now see how little protection the West’s wars in the Muslim world offer its own citizens.

Ultimately those who died in Paris are themselves further victims of Western-backed wars and the reaction against them.

Further bombing, drones, repression and killing will only prepare the ground for more awful terror in reply. Even the former head of MI5 said in 2010 that the British invasion of Iraq had increased the threat of terrorism “substantially”.

The state of emergency in France – which allows curfews, searches of private homes at any time, press censorship, house arrest without trial, closure of public places and much more – will increase the repression. It will not bring safety.

We call for no backlash against refugees and migrants and Muslims. We say no to war in Syria or anywhere else.

We further commit ourselves to united working class struggle internationally against imperialism and a capitalist system that creates the conditions for such horror as we saw in Paris.