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Three Friends In Montreal Found A Powerful Way To Show That Muslims And Non-Muslims Need To Stand Together

"They cannot separate us."

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Three best friends in Montreal took a stand for tolerance after the terrorist attacks in Paris.

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Matt Dejar is from New York. Thomas Brag is from Paris. Ammar Kandil is "a Muslim from Egypt."

For nearly an hour on Monday, the three friends stood together in the busy Berri-UQAM metro station holding hands and sharing a message of tolerance on their shirts and on signs in front of them.

Dejar told BuzzFeed Canada it was important to speak out against Islamophobia in the wake of the Paris attacks.

So nice to see those ppl united this morning in the Montreal metro #ParisAttacks

"Muslims become a target for so many political parties and so many people," he said. "Yes he's Muslim. But we're standing right next to him and he's our best friend, so you have to accept that."

The Paris attacks also affected them on a personal level. One of Brag's friends was in the Bataclan concert hall where terrorists killed dozens of people before blowing themselves up when police stormed the building.

Generation Y Not / Via Facebook: generationynot1

"He was shot protecting his wife," Dejar told BuzzFeed Canada. "He was shot three times in the spine and he's in the hospital right now in a coma. We're not sure if he's going to get out ... and it's a huge reason we did this."

Dejar said the reaction from Montrealers was incredible. "People were crying and hugging us. We were totally overwhelmed."

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"There was not a single bad thing said. Everybody was so supportive."

Generation Y Not / Via youtube.com

The three guys became best friends earlier this year after doing a video project in which they spent 30 days together filming themselves taking on new challenges every day. Along with their cameraman Derin Emre, who is originally from Turkey, they started a YouTube channel called Generation Y Not.

Here's a video they made about their message of "love over fear."

View this video on YouTube

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Ishmael Daro is a social news editor for BuzzFeed and is based in Toronto.

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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