Jews and Muslims gather in Amsterdam to reflect on Paris attacks

“We fight too, but with words. And even though we may be divided, in the first place we’re all inhabitants of Amsterdam."
“We fight too, but with words. And even though we may be divided, in the first place we’re all inhabitants of Amsterdam.” (Photo: ANP)

Last Tuesday about a hundred people joined to reflect on the attacks in Paris. Lody van de Kamp, member of the initiative Salaam-Shalom arranged the meeting. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan held a speech, during which people all held up the peace-sign with their fingers. The Mayor said: “We fight too, but with words. And even though we may be divided, in the first place we’re all inhabitants of Amsterdam.”

Via a Skype connection a rabbi and a member from a mosque in Paris joined the meeting and could see how Muslims and Jews in Amsterdam are in solidarity with the French people. The Rabbi hopes to see more of these initiatives in European cities.

According to deputy prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher the meeting is a sign from people who refuse to see each other as enemies. He further stated that the Netherlands remains a country where people are allowed to believe what they want, were they can wear signs of their religion such as a headscarf. And democracy is not to be defended with weapons, but with words and courage. Youth should be protected against those who try to seduce them to participate in a jihad.

In Rotterdam there was a similar meeting between Muslims, Jews and Humanists.