Terrorist Attack in Paris and Scapegoating

Bias, Discrimination & Hate
Religion & Religious Bigotry
Syrian Refugees Men Carrying Children 2015
Freedom House/Flickr
Grade Level:
Middle School,
High School
Common Core Standards:
Reading, Speaking and Listening, Language
Bias, Discrimination & Hate
Religion & Religious Bigotry

On Friday, November 13, coordinated shootings and explosions rocked Paris late in the evening, killing 130 people and leaving another 351 injured, 99 of them critically. The majority of the victims were killed at the Bataclan concert hall. There, attackers opened fire on concertgoers and took more than 100 people hostage, according to police. Police later stormed the Bataclan and ended the hostage situation. At the same time, there were three suicide bombings near the Stade de France, a soccer stadium near Paris, as well as another suicide bomb and mass shootings in other places in Paris. Seven of the eight attackers died, six of whom detonated explosive suicide vests. Six days later, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 28-year-old Belgian terrorist and the suspected “mastermind” of the attacks, was among those killed in a police raid in a suburb of Paris. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing France's "crusader campaign," referencing the country's role in air strikes against the group in Syria and Iraq. There have been a wide variety of responses to the attacks from international leaders, U.S. legislators and the public at large. Some have responded by scapegoating Syrian refugees as well as people who are Muslim.

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the Paris attacks and understand the ways in which Muslim people and Syrian refugees are being scapegoated as a result of the terrorist attacks.

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