Metro Detroiters support victims of Paris attacks

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Metro Detroiters gathered Saturday in the darkness and lit candles for victims of the Paris terror attacks.

The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn held its vigil 6 p.m. and a second vigil was held at 7 p.m. at St. Anne Parish in Southwest Detroit.

ICA executive administrator Kassem Allie said the vigil is in solidarity with the victims of the Paris attacks and their families.

“The attack in Beirut and subsequent attack in Paris are all part of a campaign of terror that has really been escalating this month,” Allie said. “It’s really hitting home because of a couple of people from our community perished and in Lebanon.”

Allie said so many people in the Metro Detroit community have friends and family in Paris.

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“I think it’s a wake up for us to recognize they are attacking everyone indiscriminately to create circle of terror. It is time for the world to come together and take some concrete action on the roots of this terror.”

The Michigan chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce issued a statement Saturday expressing its sorrow and shared its solidarity with the French people following Friday’s attacks in Paris.

“It is with great sorrow that the French American Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chapter, associates itself with the mourning of all losses in Paris last night,” Cedric Ballarin, FACC Michigan president and a vice president in the Michigan headquarters of France-based Faurecia, said.

“In this tragic hour, our thoughts go to the wounded and to the families of those who lost their lives. As we reflect on Detroit and Michigan’s long history with France, we thank all of our Michigan friends, colleagues and business partners who expressed their support and compassion,” he said.

Several members of the FACC Michigan Chapter were expected to attend the vigil at St. Anne Parish in Southwest Detroit, where the community was invited to pray for victims and their families.