World wounded, angered by Paris terror attacks

14th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Mourners across the globe reacted to the attacks in Paris with tears and anger, but also with colourful shows of solidarity with France.

Monuments across the world, from the Sydney Opera House in Australia to One World Trade Center in New York, have been adorned with France's blue, white and red colours, while the French national anthem was being sung in unlikely places.

Among politicians, there were loud calls for the world to ratchet up the fight against terrorism.

Bouquets, candles and messages of condolence were laid at French embassies worldwide.

A Twitter campaign has begun encouraging notoriously tribal England football fans to join with French travelling supporters in singing La Marsellaise, France's national anthem when, before the kick-off in the friendly match between both countries.

New York's Metropolitan Opera led by star tenor Placido Domingo mourned the victims of the Paris attacks with an unscheduled performance of the French national anthem.

The European Union called for a minute's silence to be held Monday for the victims of the attacks.

"We Europeans will all remember November 13th 2015 as a European day of mourning," it said.

In Madrid and Barcelona, hundreds stood for a minute's silence outside city hall.

"We are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte, egalite, fraternite, are not just the values French people share, but we share," said US President Barack Obama, citing France's national motto.

French President Francois Hollande received calls from world leaders including Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Queen Elizabeth II said she and her spouse Prince Philip were "deeply shocked," and British Prime Minister David Cameron offered Britain's help.

Indian Premier Narendra Modi called the attacks "anguishing and dreadful" and Hassan Rouhani of Iran condemned the attacks as "crimes against humanity."

"We share the sadness and the pain of the French people," said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "The Paris tragedy requires of us all to unite in the fight against extremism."

Chinese President Xi Jinping said: "In these tragic times for the French people, I want... to condemn in the strongest ways this barbarous act."

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that French policy had contributed to the "spread of terrorism" that culminated in the Paris attacks.

- 'We are all France' -

The outpouring of support for France generated massive amounts of activity on social media, with the hashtags #prayforparis and #jesuisparis going viral.

One user, @emilymiddlemas_ , wrote "I am so heart broken! All my love and prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrible attack, when will this stop."

A "Peace for Paris" symbol, combining the city's beloved Eiffel Tower with the peace sign of the Sixties, has gone viral on the internet.

The designer is a 32-year-old French graphic artist, Jean Jullien, who lives in London.

"Given the scale of the violence, the peace-and-love symbol was essential. It was then quite an easy thing to combine it with the Eiffel Tower," he said.

Among other reactions:

- Pope Francis expressed his profound distress and solidarity with the casualties. "There cannot be justification, religious or human" for the attacks, he said.

- Spanish Premier Mariano Rajoy declared, "We are all France," apparently echoing France's support for the United States ("We are all Americans") after 9/11.

- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari hit out at "barbaric attacks... an unacceptable affront to all human values and civilized norms."

- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta: "Our common humanity has been attacked in Paris by terrorists, and innocent civilians murdered in cold blood."

- "This planned horror is a real crime against humanity.": Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika

- Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's president: "Terrorism is our common enemy."

- The grand imam of the prestigious Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo called the attacks "despicable" adding "it is time for the whole world to confront this monster."

- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with French President Francois Hollande and with the people of France in our common battle against terrorism."

- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said: "The terrorists will defeat us...if they force us to abandon our values, and lead us to a fortified Europe inhabited by fearful peoples."

- "Our hearts go out to all the victims and their families across the city tonight.": Irish rock band U2


© 2015 AFP

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