Protesters gathered to join the worldwide stand against terrorism Pakistan on Friday evening at Vanbrugh Paradise on the Heslington West campus.
Protests were scheduled from 6pm in Pakistan and other cities such as Boston and New York, Berlin, Perth, Nairobi and London as part of a worldwide campaign called ‘Pakistanis Protest Against Terrorism’.
Protesters came together to commemorate the lives of the victims and promise never to forget them. Rida-E Zenab, one of the protest’s organisers, told Nouse: “The aim was to send a strong message to the Government of Pakistan and the world that the citizens of Pakistan [have] had and will no longer [stand for] terrorism, extremism and injustice.”
The protesters, who lit candles and held up signs bearing slogans such as ‘we Pakistanis are not terrorists, we are victims’ and ‘peace we love’, also spoke against the amalgamation between Islam and terrorism.
Exactly one month ago, the Taliban attacked a Peshawar Army Public School in the North West of Pakistan.
The attack took place on the 16 December, killing over 140 people and children between the ages of 8 and 18.
Seven gunmen from the Tehrik-i-Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the school and fired indiscriminately as they moved through the classrooms.
This attack resulted in an unprecedented outcry against terrorism across the world.
They also said that terrorism is a global problem that everyone should stand in solidarity against.
Kazim Lakyaree, a York protestor who attended the event, said: “Terrorism has no religion.”
He added that “a criminal is a criminal”, stating that terrorism is an act that “is totally against all humanity”.
Lakyaree also said: “These are people who do not understand the meaning of their own religion and I feel ashamed when people call them Muslims.”
Javed Hussain, another York protestor, expressed a similar view, saying: “These terrorists have hijacked the religion.”