WITHIN hours of the awful events in Paris on Friday night, news sites were speculating about the possibility that those responsible may have entered France as refugees – or “posing as refugees”.

The mere suggestion was enough for some to demand the immediate closure of borders across Europe.

As it emerged that the attacks were masterminded from Belgium, by Belgian-born terrorists, many continued to focus on the Syria link.

That Islamist militants from across Europe have travelled to Syria is hardly news – Daesh has seized huge swathes of land in that country and there is no sign of an end to the chaos, death and destruction that had started even before they arrived.

Those living in Syria know there will be no quick fix, and are willing to risk their lives to escape.

Some, such as the tiny collection of bigots that call themselves the Scottish Defence League, have spied an opportunity to try to poison minds against the Syrian refugees due to arrive here this week. They will not succeed in doing so. Their blatant and cynical attempt to capitalise on a tragedy will disgust the vast majority of Scots, who understand that refugees from Syria are fleeing the very same terrorism of which our French neighbours were targets last weekend.

Nicola Sturgeon sent a strong message by visiting Glasgow Central Mosque for yesterday’s minute of silence remembering the Paris victims, and for emphasising that there is never an excuse for hate crime.

Scotland’s compassion for the refugees fleeing Syria is evident from the huge number of aid groups that sprung up after the shocking image of Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body was shared across the globe – some of which were so overwhelmed with donations that they had to stop collecting.

The nation will, we are sure, extend the same kindness and generosity to our new neighbours arriving this week.

First Minister in solidarity with Muslims as first Syrian refugees due to arrive