There have been positive moments of solidarity, from the massive response of French hospitals with little warning (centralised public systems can in fact be efficient, particularly in healthcare) to the hugely supportive crowd for the England-France friendly football match. But the aftermath of the Paris attacks in particular has raised more negative rhetoric and responses than positive ones.
For those looking for pithy answers about ISIS in terms of Islam and brutality, one of the authors on ISIS I most respect Will McCants has put together this helpful list, here.
For those wishing to explain the Paris attacks in the context of wider terrorism, both this month and more broadly, read about the systemic problems in Belgium that makes it such a good “forward operating base” for jihadis. Read how the Mumbai hotel attacks informed both the Paris and Bamako attacks, as well as the French response to the standoff in the Bataclan. What do these attacks tell us about ISIS’ tactics and strategy? A comparison with Somalia’s Al-Shabaab is perhaps useful.