Vigil in Sacramento for victims of Paris terror attack

By Ras H Siddiqui for,

Sacramento (USA): A ‘Peace Vigil’ was held by the American Muslim Voice (AMV) Foundation (Sacramento Chapter) and assisted by the local CAIR and COSVIO organizations to express a unified outrage against the recent terror strike in Paris at the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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Approximately 100 people attended the event held at the western steps of the California State Capitol on Friday, January 09.

Sacramento Vigil for Paris with Khalid Saeed Speaking
Sacramento Vigil for Paris with Khalid Saeed Speaking

The formalities began with AMV Foundation national president Khalid Saeed thanking everyone for coming and detailed the supporting organizations involved in putting this peace vigil together. He added that on his own behalf and on behalf of the AMV he condemned the terror act.

Tom Hamilton from the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento (ICGS) said this act in Paris has affected each one of us. He said people who did this are shaming God.

Imam Qasmi from the Downtown Sacramento Muslim Mosque asked everyone to observe a moment of silence for the victims in Paris. He said that this is a very sad moment for everybody around the globe and he condemned the attack personally and on behalf of his community and offered his sincere condolences to the families who lost their loved ones.

Former State Assembly member Mariko Yamada also said a few words. She said she joined the vigil with a heavy heart certainly, but also one who is proud to stand with the Muslim-American community of the greater Sacramento region.

Vigil in Sacramento for victims of Paris terror attack

Chairperson of the SALAM Board Anne Kjemtrup said the tragedy has hit all hard. Danna Elneil representing CAIR (Sacramento Valley) said that her organization strongly condemned the act against innocent victims in Paris. Tom Bhe of the local Asian organization APAPA also added his sentiments. Beatrice Hildebrand of the Alliance Française de Sacramento also touched many hearts here with her short delivery.

Dr Irfan Haq, chair of the COSVIO organization said that on behalf of the Sacramento Muslim community, he condemns the acts that have taken place in France. “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, their loved ones and to the people of France. This is not the way of Islam,” he added.

Florin Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Co-President Andy Noguchi said that he was glad to stand here with good people, standing up for freedom, human life and peace. Kazman Zaidi, president of the Sacramento Taxi Cab Union, Suzana Malik from the Ar Razzaq Food Bank (who has been feeding needy of the community since 2009) followed by two young girls (Usha and Ayesha) and the author all took the opportunity to strongly condemn the act in France.

Durriya Syed, who works at the Office of Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and is a Counselor at the SSF, said her heart weeps for the victims and their families in France and that she stands in solidarity with all peaceful people-citizens of this world. American Muslim Voice Sacramento Chapter’s president Asif Sattar offered his concluding remarks by thanking everyone for attending the vigil, especially the French community. He said that this tragic event in France shocked and infuriated him.

Sacramento Vigil for Paris Mariko Yamada with French Community
Sacramento Vigil for Paris Mariko Yamada with French Community

And just as we were ready to leave, another speaker from the French community, Sophie Lambert appeared on stage and shared her sentiments. She said that she really wanted to thank the Muslim community for putting this (vigil) together. This is beyond touching.

(In solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar attack, on its one month anniversary – January 16th)