Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan were among the hundreds of thousands of people who participated in a unity march in Paris following this week's terror attacks. The royal couple joined other world leaders at the rally on Sunday, which was led by French President Francois Hollande. The king and queen were welcomed to the Elysee Palace by President Hollande, shortly before they attended the march in honour of the 17 victims who died in the three days of violence. A total of 12 people were killed during the Charlie Hebdo massacre on Wednesday, while a further five died during Friday's sieges.
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Queen Rania and King Abdullah II of Jordan were met by Francois Hollande before the rally
While Queen Rania decided to travel to Paris to show her support in person, she also expressed her shock and pain on social media, writing on Twitter that there was "no justification" for the shootings. The royal also shared a lengthy post on Facebook in which she condemned the terrorists' actions, explaining that she felt "offended" that they had used Islam to defend their attacks.
World leaders linked arms at the start of the unity march in Paris
"As a Muslim, it pains me when someone derides Islam and my religious beliefs," wrote Rania. "It also pains me when someone derides other religions and other people's religious beliefs. But what offends me more, much more, are the actions of the criminals who, this week, dared to use Islam to justify the cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians. "This is not about Islam or being offended by the Charlie Hebdo magazine. This is about a handful of extremists who wanted to slaughter people for any reason and at any cost." She added: "Today, I join His Majesty King Abdullah in Paris to stand in solidarity with the people of France in their darkest hour... To stand in unity against extremism in all its forms and to stand up for our cherished faith, Islam. And so that the lasting image of these terrible events is an unprecedented outpouring of sympathy and support between people of all faiths and cultures."
Supporters carried banners reading 'Je suis Charlie' to show their solidarity with Charlie Hebdo
Rania and Abdullah were joined by politicians including Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the high-profile event, which saw approximately one million people march through Paris. "The importance of today is to show solidarity with the French people and the French government after the appalling attacks in Paris," said the British Prime Minsiter. "We're here to demonstrate that we all stand for the values of democracy, of freedom, of freedom of expression, of tolerance." During the march supporters held up signs reading "Je suis Charlie", translated as "I am Charlie," and banners in the shape of pens and pencils, to show their solidarity with the satirical French magazine that features cartoons and jokes.