A group representing thousands of Muslim students in France released a powerful video in the wake of several coordinated attacks in Paris Friday night.
The Etudiants Musulmans de France (EMF), or Muslim Students of France, posted a video to its website condemning the horrific events and expressing its ‘dismay, sadness, and emotion in the aftermath of the tragedy.”
In the video, the EMF students hold signs simply reading ‘#NousSommesUnis’ – or ‘#WeAreUnited’ – while a narrator reads a monologue.
“They think they are fighting Crusaders, and they invoke the Qur’an, and quote its verses. But shedding the blood of an innocent has no justification… not in Islam or anywhere,” a narrator says.
“They wanted France to be weak, they made our French hearts strong.”
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Muslim groups around the world have condemned the attacks, but there is concern they could become targets in retaliation.
Police are investigating in Peterborough, Ontario after a fire at a mosque on Saturday that investigators are calling arson. Police said it is unclear if the fire was at all connected to the deadly attacks in Paris, but Muslim groups are calling for authorities to treat the fire as a potential hate crime.
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“In our experience, following these kinds of tragedies or when Islam or Muslims are portrayed negatively in the media, we do tend to notice a spike in the number of hate crimes and hate incidents that are reported to NCCM,” Ihsaan Gardee, with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, told the Canadian Press on Sunday.
“Obviously it’s challenging in terms of being able to draw a direct causal effect, to make a causal connection between the two, but there certainly seems to be a correlation.”
In the wake of the January attacks on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Muslim-owned businesses were burned and mosques attacked.
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The deadly attacks have also strengthened Republican opposition in the U.S. to accepting thousands of Syrian refugees. Michigan, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana have all said they will not accept any Syrian refugees following the tragedy in France.
I just signed an Executive Order instructing state agencies to take all available steps to stop the relocation of Syrian refugees to LA.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) November 16, 2015
President Barack Obama said Monday while speaking in Turkey that it’s wrong to equate attacks like those that happened in Paris with Islam. He challenge the Muslim community, especially Muslim leader, to do more to push back against extremism
He added that it was “shameful” for political leaders to call for imposing a religious test on refugees.