Thousands of people marched against terror and hate in Brussels on Sunday afternoon. They were applauded as they arrived at the Stock Exchange at around 3.30pm. Police said there were no incidents, and that around 7,000 people took part.
Belgian flags and flowers decorated the procession. They were songs of solidarity. Students from Molenbeek-Saint-Jean carried messages of peace, including ‘Not in the name of Islam’.
Representatives from the different faiths and secularism marched together behind the banner ‘Together in peace’, carrying white roses. These included members of the Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican churches, and followers of Islam and Judaism. The Muslim Executive President, the Grand Rabbi of Brussels and the Co-President of the Central Secular Council, Sylvain Peeters, all attended.
“We march together hand in hand for the future of our society, and so we can live together in peace”, said Jan de Volder, co-coordinator of the ‘Together in peace’ committee. “Islam is going through a huge interior crisis, with Muslims killing each other. The greatest victims of terrorism are Muslims. Terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam are obviously not good Muslims.
We don’t want to leave Muslim representatives to handle this fight alone. It is important they say they are against terrorism, but we want to do it together. We will fight that which wants to divide the European population, with unity and diversity”.