Cities Around The World Respond To The Egypt Mosque Attack

"We share a destiny and determination to stand up to terror."

France has shouldered more than its share of tragedy over the past few years. In 2015, a series of terror attacks in Paris left 130 people dead and hundreds more wounded, and in 2016, a cargo truck drove into crowds of revelers celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 86.  So when, in the wake of the mosque attack in the town of Bir al-Abed, Egypt, the city of Paris joined municipalities aroung the world in offering its condolences to those affected and tweeted out a simple message and the hashtag "#NousSommesUnis," or "we are united," the words took on a special meaning. 


At least 305 people were killed where they worshipped on November 24, victims of a bomb detonated at the end of Friday prayers and gunmen that shot at those attempting to flee. Some of the militants who carried out the attack reportedly carried ISIS flags, although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. For some commentators, the militants' decision to attack a mosque underscored a disconnect in an all-too-common Western narrative: that Muslims worldwide are more likely to be the perpetrators of terrorism than its victims. According to author and activist Iyad El-Baghdadi, the reverse is true. 

"The Middle East is full of amazing and compassionate human beings, but its regional order is dominated by tyrants, terrorists, and imperialists," El-Baghdadi tweeted in the aftermath of Friday's attack. "We are not these. We are the victims of these." 

Relatives of victims of the Al Rawdah mosque attack are seen leaving the Suez Canal University hospital in Ismailia, Egypt November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh.

"They targeted Muslims. They killed Muslims," Cairo pharmacist Mohamed Saleh told The Washington Post of the attack. "Egypt has suffered a lot, but these are our cruellest years."

Following the mosque attack, cities around the world offered their support and their condolences to those mourning in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula region. Like Paris, they expressed unity with Bir al-Abed and its worshippers. In Israel, Tel Aviv city hall lit up in the colors of the Egyptian flag, as did the Library of Birmingham in England, and Toronto, Canada's CN Tower. 

And, poignantly, as it had before for the victims of the Barcelona terror attack, the knife attack in Marseille, and the mass shooting in Las Vegas, among others, Paris' most iconic landmark went dark in honor of those affected by the mosque attack in Bir al-Abed. The Eiffel Tower became a beacon of solidarity lit only by the streets beneath it.


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