Thousands March against Islamophobia in Paris (+Video)
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Thousands gathered in Paris for a march against Islamophobia that has markedly divided the French political class in recent days.
“Yes to criticism of religion, no to hatred of believers”, “Stop Islamophobia” and “Co-existing is crucial,” read some of the signs held aloft at the demonstration, as marchers set off from the Gare du Nord train station in the French capital on a rainy Sunday afternoon, France 24 reported.
“Solidarity with veiled women”, some in the crowd chanted.
French media on Sunday evening estimated the number of participants in Paris at around 13,500.
The rally was called for by the left-leaning daily Libération in an editorial on November 1, four days after a man attacked a mosque in Bayonne and amid the flare of renewed debate over Muslim women wearing the veil in public establishments like schools.
But the march drew criticism from the far-right National Rally party (formerly the National Front). It also spurred divisions among political parties on the left.
But at the rally in Paris, many marchers said that Islam and French secularism are indeed compatible. “We’ve also seen a lot of French flags here, so it’s quite a patriotic rally in its own way,” Sargent said.