Local News

Inter-faith vigil mourns Paris attack victims

Posted November 16, 2015 6:14 p.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2015 11:19 p.m. EST

— People around the Triangle paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks Monday at a vigil at the Islamic Association of Cary.

Organizers made it clear that the vigil was an inter-faith event and the Islamic Association of Cary invited Christians and others to join them for prayer and to recognize the lives lost in the Paris attacks.

Candles in hand, the people at the Islamic Center of Cary said the image of people of different faiths standing shoulder to shoulder is exactly what terrorists don't want to see.

"That's exactly what those guys are trying to destroy. That's exactly what they want to do," said atendee Bob Stevens.

Muslims, Jews, Christians and Buddhists were among those in the crowd who all wanted to share their sadness over the Paris attacks and be a part of a peaceful interfaith dialogue.

Stevens is of the Christian faith, but said he deliberately sought out friendships with local Muslims after the September 11 attacks as his way of combating fear.

"The scripture says to love your neighbor as yourself and you can't love anybody unless you get to know them personally," said Stevens.

Veronique King grew up in France and practices Buddhism.

"We need to think peace, think love. That's all, but all together," said King.

One of the organizers, Faisal Khan, said that there is often talk surrounding Islam and Muslims when terror attacks happen, but he has a clear message about the Islamic community.

"Every time something this horrific happens, the chatter starts about Islam and Muslims and there are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and in the Quran it says clearly that if you have harmed one person, it's as if you have harmed the whole humanity," said Khan.

Kahn said that he has not experienced any hateful or mean comments directed toward him, but he fears for others in the community, including his young daughter.

Several people at the vigil said that they hoped it would be the beginning of a dialogue that can happen between people of different backgrounds and different faiths. they hoped that conversation would continue in Cary.