The "March of Muslims against Terrorism" began on Saturday, July 8, in Paris with a prayer ceremony on the Champs Elysées. Approximately 60 imams will travel by bus to other cities in Europe hit by major terror attacks over the past few years, including Brussels, Toulouse, and Nice. The tour will end in Nice on July 14 to mark Bastille day, where French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to participate in a vigil on the anniversary of the 2016 terrorist attack in Nice.
The group of imams is expected to be met by political, religious, and civil society figures in communities touched by terrorism. March organizers intend to show that groups such as the Islamic State (IS) cannot take Islam "hostage."
Counter-demonstrations by right wing protesters are possible, although no information on any such demonstrations has been reported as of Sunday, July 9. Due to the possibility of counter protests, security is likely to be tight at all locations on the tour.
France has been under a state of emergency since the November 13, 2015, terrorist attacks in the Paris region that killed 130 people. Since then, several other incidents have taken place. In March 2017, an armed man briefly took a French soldier hostage at Orly Airport before being shot dead. On April 20, a shooting targeting French police on the Avenue des Champs Elysées left one officer dead; the assailant was killed. On June 6, a man armed with a hammer attacked a police officer in front of Notre Dame Cathedral; the officer was lightly wounded and the assailant was shot and killed.
Individuals are advised to monitor the situation and avoid all demonstrations.
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