Drawing Parallels Between The Paris Attacks And The Boston Marathon Bombings

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People gather in front of Le Carillon cafe, a site of the recent attacks in Paris. (Jerome Delay/AP)
People gather in front of Le Carillon cafe, a site of the recent attacks in Paris. (Jerome Delay/AP)

France is in mourning over last Friday's terrorist attacks on Paris that killed at least 129 people and left hundreds more injured. President Francois Hollande has vowed to "destroy" the so-called Islamic State. A very public expression of raw anger and sense of vulnerability is felt on the streets of Paris right now.

Those feelings are familiar to Boston.


Jim Walsh, research associate at MIT and a contributor to WBUR's Cognoscenti. He tweets @drjimwalshmit.

Jocelyne Cesari, professor of religion and politics at the University of Birmingham and director of Harvard University's Islam in the West Program.


Cognoscenti: To Paris, With Love: A Boston Perspective On Coming Back From Terror

  • "Bostonians understand what it’s like to watch the TV screen in disbelief, to desperately try to find a loved one. Whether directly touched or not, there is the fear and heartbreak, the anger and defiance that well up inside."

On Point: Paris Attacks: At War With ISIS

  • "The sounds and scenes from Paris are so sickening. Attacks, mass murder, claimed by ISIS. In the heart of the city. Gruesome. Pitiless. Well-planned. Shocking, even now. And the reaction: heartbreak, fury, fear of more attacks. And a deep hunger to effectively respond. So what would, what will that mean? French leaders have called this an act of war. Is war the right response? We went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.  How can, should the response this time look different?"

The Boston Globe: A Way The West Cannot Win

  • "It’s past time for the West, and above all for the United States as the West’s primary military power, to consider trying something different. Rather than assuming an offensive posture, the West should revert to a defensive one."

This segment aired on November 16, 2015.


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