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Muslims, Christians, Jews: the photos of the world honouring Paris

Ovunque nel mondo si sono moltiplicate le iniziative in ricordo delle vittime di Parigi. I musulmani francesi si scagliano contro il terrorismo.

The entire world is honouring the city of Paris following the attacks – which responsibility was claimed by fundamentalists of the Islamic State – where 129 people were killed and 352 were injured. Thousands of monuments have been illuminated with the colours of France’s flag: the New York’s World Trade Centre, Sidney’s Opera, Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, London’s Trafalgar Square, Israel’s Western Wall. Numerous solidarity initiatives and popular demonstrations have been organised, were words like “Vive la France” resounded, alongside requests of peace, solidarity, and brotherhood.

French Muslims speak out

Particularly significant is the mobilisation of French Muslims.  On Saturday 14 November, the day after the attacks, a delegation of Imams gathered outside Bataclan, the theatre where tens of young people were killed. The French Council of the Muslim Faith immediately spoke out by “strongly condemning the brutal and cowardly attacks”.

 

In an interview for the newspaper Sud-Ouest, the Imam of Bordeaux, Tareq Oubrou, called on “killing the terrorist monster”, reminding that the best response to the attacks is to remain faithful to democratic values. The Imams of the Creusot region underlined that such attacks are opposite to Islam’s values, since Quran’s suras prohibit to kill innocents. Moreover, the Imam of the Muslim Cultural Centre of Brest defined the attacks as “barbaric and abominable acts carried out by heartless men”.

 

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The Brandeburg Gate, Berlin © Carsten Koall/Getty Images

 

At noon, France stopped for a minute’s silence

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered at the Notre Dame de Paris for a religious function. The square was crowded, despite the alarms and spread fear. On Saturday, the French President François Hollande has declared 3 days of national mourning. Moreover, a minute’s silence has been observed all over the country on Monday, and all flags were lowered to half-staff to honour Paris’ victims.

Associations call for unity

Numerous associations and NGOs expressed their sorrow. Attac France explained that “the people killed on Friday night were anything but exercising their right to entertainment, civilization, art, and a free life. All things that terrorists want to eradicate in the name of a fanatic view of religion”. The NGO thus reminded the responsibilities Western countries have to destabilise the vast areas of the Arab world.

 

The association named Coexister (coexist, in French), union of young believers and agnostics, has successfully launched the hastags #NousSommesUnis (“We are united”) and #VoisinsUnis (“United neighbours”), aimed at fostering a meeting point among citizens, of any religion and origin.

 

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Thousands of people gathered in Paris for a religious function, honouring the victims ©Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

 

France extends the state of emergency to 3 months

The state of emergency declared by the French government shortly after the attacks is likely to be extended to at least 3 months. The decision will be confirmed during a joint meeting of the National Assembly and the Senate, in Versailles. Prime Minister Manuel Valls talked of “exceptional measures” to allow security forces to carry out investigations. Police will be thus enabled to do searches, controls, and checks, outside and within the borders.

 

However, it is not “a general measure that prevents people from going out their houses, but a mean that will allow the country to gradually take further decisions,” said Jean-Philippe Derosier, Public Law professor at the University of Rouen, to the newspaper Liberation. Indeed, in each department (province), prefects will be enabled to ban demonstrations, close public spaces and – in some cases – declare a curfew.

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