British Muslims from hundreds of groups took out ads in the UK media Wednesday condemning the Paris attacks “unreservedly” and “with one voice.”
In the ad, a graphic of the Eiffel Tower is shown alongside text that offers condolences to the victims and condemns the “barbaric acts” of Islamic State.
The group’s barbaric acts have “no sanction in the religion of Islam, which forbids terrorism and the targeting of innocents,” the ad notes.
It also praises the actions of a security guard named Zouheir who “risked his life” to stop one of the terrorists from entering Stade de France. The Muslim security guard was also praised by other groups, including the Facebook group “Palestine loves Israel,” for preventing a bomber wearing a suicide vest from entering the stadium.
The aim of Islamic State, the ad reads, is “to turn communities against each other.”
“As Muslims, Britons and Europeans, we must stand together to make sure they do not succeed,” it ends.
The ad was paid for by the Muslim Council of Britain on behalf of more than 300 British Muslim groups.
In a separate display of empathy that went viral on the internet, a group of Pakistani comedians posted a video that had been shared on Facebook more than 50,000 times and viewed more than 2.5 million times by Wednesday afternoon.
“We are completely praying for your safety and security. We actually are one of the few nations who completely understand what you guys are going through. Why? Because incidents like these are really common in Pakistan,” says one of the comedians in the video.
The comedians call on the French – and the Europeans in general – not to turn their backs on refugees escaping the war in Syria and other atrocities in the Middle East. The refugees are escaping “the same people” who were behind the Paris terror attacks, they say.
“It’s easy to blame incoming refugees en masse, but you have to understand that they are running away from the same people who are carrying out these attacks.”
They then ask people not to “blame Chinese people for the actions of Mao” or “blaming Russians for the actions of Stalin.” The comedians also ask Europeans not to “blame all Germans for the actions of Hitler.”
More than 18,000 people have been killed by terrorism in the Muslim world, the comedians say, noting that eight of the ten countries hit most badly by terrorism are Muslim majority states. Israel, incidentally, occupies the 24th place, according to the Global Terrorism Index.