There is some good news from Paris, but my attention has focused on the horror of the terrorist attacks.

Paul Krugman in his Nov. 16 New York Times op-ed warned, “The biggest danger terrorism poses to our society comes not from the direct harm inflicted, but from the wrong-headed responses it can inspire.” The Republican presidential candidates who are stoking the fires of “fear and hatred” smoldering in the minds of their supporters are a prime example.

I admit that images of innocent victims slaughtered in France did fill me with fear of potential attacks and hatred for the perpetrators of these horrendous acts of violence.

However, the plight of the Syrian refugees fleeing from their homeland to escape a similar fate has tempered my anxiety. Gov. LePage, following the lead of his fellow Republican governors, closed our borders to Syrian refugees, claiming he is “protecting” us from potential terrorist attacks. Regrettably, he too succumbed to “fear and hatred.”

Antoine Leiris, whose wife was shot in Paris, posted this message on Facebook to those responsible:

“I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it, but responding to hatred would be to give in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be afraid, to cast a mistrustful eye on my fellow citizens, to sacrifice my freedom for security.”

Krugman summed it up best: “The goal of terrorists is to inspire terror, because that’s all they’re capable of. And the most important thing our societies can do in response is to refuse to give in to fear.”

Providing a welcoming safe haven for Syrian refugees in our state sends a message to terrorists that Mainers will not sacrifice freedom for security. We will not give in to fear.

Sam Kamin