By Manel Mselmi, Paris
November 13th, a Belgian delegation of young people together with their teacher Miss Mselmi went to Paris to pay tribute to the victims of Paris attacks and show the families their solidarity and support. The initiative held by the president of the conference of imams and founder of “The Union of People for Peace” Hassen Chalghoumi and The writer Marek Halter, aims at establishing a dialogue between the different communities and give a message of peace and coexistence. Many presidents of French organisations took part in this movement such as Fatiha Boyer, Eric Gozlan Marouan Rwihi,Hazem Ayari, Rezk Shehata and the representatives of the Christian and Jewish religion mainly the Rabbi Moche Lewin.
The objective of this march is to fight against hatred and pre-conceived ideas regarding Muslims and certain neighborhood in Belgium especially Molenbeek. Sami, a young Belgian who lives in Molenbeek and who participated in this march believed that it is important to fight against extremism and terrorism by taking part in manifestations. For Rhizlaine, “Islam is a religion of Peace” and for their teacher Miss Mselmi “Coulibaly, Abaoud and Abdesslam are not the spokesmen of Islam and they do tarnish the image of religion”.
Miss Mselmi is one of the partner organisations in Belgium who started together with her students a movement called “Belgian youth against Terrorism”. The movement starts with 14 students from Woluwe Saint Lambert school in Belgium and calls Belgian youth whether Muslim or not to join the movement in an attempt to fight against youth radicalism and give a better image of Muslim youth committed to peace ,tolerance and brotherhood. Abdel, is one of the students keen on youtube, is a successful young boy who created the website and was invited to youtube headquarters. The march started with a gathering in front of the “Peace wall” in Paris, then a demonstration in front of “Place de La République” to show the importance of the values of liberty and secularism by singing the French national anthem, and ending with prayers to the victims in front of the “Bataclan”.
Young Belgians were interviewed in French by famous TV and press media, as well as in English and in Spanish. They wanted to show to the Whole world together with their teacher that peace is possible and we should all build bridges instead of walls.