Click here if you prefer to read this post on Medium.com (6 minute read). A Hungarian version of this post also exists.
There is hardly any person on the planet, who hasn’t probably heard about the 3.7 million people marching in Paris in solidarity to raise red flags on terrorism and freedom of press, following the Charlie Hebdo events. The crowds have been led by 47 world leaders (alternate source) marching arm-in-arm. However, a lot of controversy (1,2,3,4,5,6) has arisen around their intentions and people, bloggers and prominent figures of many countries have questioned whether their leaders’ actions reflect their nation’s viewpoint on this divisive matter. While some leaders have not been welcome, others have been reproofed for not showing up.
In this post we will try to look behind the curtain and see what could be the possible motivators for the world leaders to join the Marche Republicaine!
We can see that Europe was well-represented, with virtually leaders of all EU countries appearing at the Champs Elysees. Other regions to have a good representation are Canada and the United States (although the US did not send the highest ranking officials), French Africa and the Gulf countries, to some extent – despite the fact that these are mostly Muslim majority countries. We can immediately see from the map that geographic proximity definitely influenced the solidarity visits, but let us look whether the religious majority of a country had any significant effect on the country’s appearance at the march!