SASKATOON – People in Saskatoon are joining the world in showing solidarity for France after the Paris attacks. About 50 people gathered Sunday afternoon downtown to unite against terrorism.
“Absolute horror and a spontaneous empathy and sympathy for the people who have suffered so much in Paris,” said Mateen Raazi.
“When I first heard about it I was really scared, but then I was like that’s the point of terrorism, they’re wanting terror. No one deserves to be that scared,” said Laila Haider.
Paris terror attacks renew debate on Liberal plan to withdraw from airstrikes against ISIS
Regina woman recounts moments during Paris attacks, Sask. raises French flag
Wall says Saskatchewan stands with people of France
READ MORE: France launches ‘massive’ air strikes on Islamic State in Syria
Some at the event empathized with the people of Paris, having been victims of terrorism themselves.
“We were all really shocked at what happened in Paris a couple days ago. Most of us come from Muslim countries and have experienced this first hand. Many of us are here in Canada because we are actually victims of terrorism ourselves,” said rally organizer Adnan Zaidi.
“Coming from a part of the world were terrorism is all too frequent, unfortunately, we know the horror families suffer when this sort of tragedy happens,” said Raazi.
IN DEPTH: Paris Attacks
Emotions ran high as many expressed their sympathies for victims and frustrations with radical terrorism.
“It hurts us whether it’s happening in Beirut or Paris or wherever. Terrorists are terrorists. They have no religion, they have no faith and I think they’re not even humans,” said Zaidi.
“They aren’t doing it in the name of Islam. Islam isn’t about this stuff. They say ‘Allahu akbar’ when they’re killing people, but they’re just evil,” said Haider.
READ MORE: Ripple effects of Paris attacks felt in Saskatoon
Social media has been a strong platform for sharing artwork, quotes and photographs.
“There was a trending hashtag called #PrayforParis and I posted pictures and I told my friends about it. They texted me and I texted them,” said Maheen Abbas.
The gathering might have been small, but it was a symbol of strength.