Trying to Make Sense of Paris Attacks

Discussing the intersection of the attacks in Paris, ISIS, and immigration.


The attacks in Paris left the world rocked by emotion, confusion and frustration. Why did these events happen? How can we digest these senseless acts of violence?

Governor Rick Snyder has bucked a national trend among Republican governors by openly welcoming immigrants to Michigan. And he has been receptive to calls to open more visas to Syrian refugees as people flee the war-torn region. But over the weekend – in light of the attacks in Paris – Snyder said he would halt offering visas to Syrian refugees. It’s not yet clear why Snyder made this call; if it was a reactionary decision or one influenced by federal intelligence.

Detroit Today host Stephen talks with Saeed Khan, a professor of History with a specialization on the Middle and Near East studies at Wayne State, and Rick Pluta, the Capitol Bureau Chief of the Michigan Public Radio Network.

  • Our History: Stephen and Saeed discuss was makes the attacks in Paris feel personal to Americans and that America today wouldn’t be without the help of France. From the war of 1812 to World War ll, France has been a powerful ally, says Khan. “There is an awfully lot that we share with [France], …we can make a connection with places like stadiums…concert halls and think ‘well is this something that can be visited upon us’,” says Khan.
  • The next steps: Khan says Iraq needs to be stabilized and needs to have a political ownership of the country. “Syria has a dictator who has exercised his brutality towards his people rather egregiously,” says Khan.
  • Immigration in Michigan: Pluta discuss the latest with Governor Snyder. “He’s suspending the effort to work with Homeland Security to stop giving visas for oversea immigrants.” Pluta says. The decision being made in light of recent events in Paris. “[Snyder] says this is a pause,” says Pluta. It’s uncertain when the governor will resume accepting refugees into the state.
To hear the full conversation, click the link above.