Several thousands of people marched in Paris on Sunday, urging unity and religious tolerance in the wake of the shootings of three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers by the radical Islamist Mohamed Merah.
AP - Several thousand people have marched silently through Paris urging unity and tolerance of all religions and cultures after deadly shootings of Jewish schoolchildren by a radical Islamist gunman.
An enormous French tricolor flag borne by dozens of marchers waved above the crowd as it snaked away from the Place de la Bastille, birthplace of the French Revolution.
The mayor of Paris and other prominent French figures joined Sunday's march, organized by groups that fight racism and anti-Semitism.
France is reeling after the killings of three young children, a rabbi and three paratroopers in recent weeks. A young Frenchman who claimed allegiance to al-Qaida told police that he carried out the attacks. He died in a gunfight with police Thursday.
Paris protest against racism
Thousands took to the streets of Paris Sunday in a silent march against racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism, days after police in Toulouse shot and killed the self-proclaimed gunman who murdered seven people in southwest France. Photo: Leela Jacinto/France24
Sadia Djellale, 67, a grandmother who came to France from Algeria 60 years ago, said she was afraid that after the Toulouse attacks Islam was being associated with terrorism. “Islam is not about violence. I live my Islam with tolerance." Photo: Tony Todd/France24
Lise Benkemoun, 40, an administrator for “Les Eclaireurs”, the Jewish branch of the French Scout movement. "All French people should be concerned - he didn’t just attack Jewish people,” she said. Photo: Tony Todd/France24
Marie-Claire Jover, 73, lived in Algeria until 1958. “I worry about the future,” she said. “I worry that there will be fallout from the Toulouse killings and that violence will spread.” Photo: Leela Jacinto/France24
Gurudev Singh, a 49-year-old construction worker. “All religions respect life,” said the Sikh father of three. “Whether it’s the church or the temple or the mosque, all religions are equal and followers of all religions must be respected.” Photo: Tony Todd/France24
Date created : 2012-03-25