A diverse group of students and local religious organizations held a vigil for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks

Tonight we are all Frenchmen

Imam+Fathi+Khalfi+of+the+Islamic+Center+of+Boca+Raton+talks+about+how+the%0A%0Aterrorists+involved+in+the+Paris+attacks+does+not+represent+Islam.+%7C+Mohammed+F+Emran%2C+Asst.+Creative+Director+
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A diverse group of students and local religious organizations held a vigil for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks

Imam Fathi Khalfi of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton talks about how the

terrorists involved in the Paris attacks does not represent Islam. | Mohammed F Emran, Asst. Creative Director

Imam Fathi Khalfi of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton talks about how the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks does not represent Islam. | Mohammed F Emran, Asst. Creative Director

Imam Fathi Khalfi of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton talks about how the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks does not represent Islam. | Mohammed F Emran, Asst. Creative Director

Imam Fathi Khalfi of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton talks about how the terrorists involved in the Paris attacks does not represent Islam. | Mohammed F Emran, Asst. Creative Director

Patrick Martin, News Editor

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The last words the Rev. Louis Guerin spoke Monday were the first ones on the hearts of 50 people who staged a vigil in response to Friday’s Paris attacks.

“Ce soir,” Guerin told the crowd at Florida Atlantic University, “nous sommes tous des hommes Français.”

Tonight, we are all Frenchmen.

The vigil brought together a diverse mix of students and local religious leaders, who lit candles, wrote individual notes to France and delivered a message of solidarity — “This is a moment of unity, not division” — in the wake of Friday’s attacks, which killed 129 people and wounded 352 others and left France in which its president called “a state of war” against ISIS.

“It’s very important that we as college students stand together with France in these unfortunate times of terror,” said Zachary Pastor, 22, a senior studying pre-law criminal justice and the treasurer of the College Republicans Club.

Zachary Pastor (left), senior studying pre­law criminal justice, gives a speech in front of 50 attendance during the Nov. 16 vigil for Paris. | Mohammed F Emran, Asst. Creative Director

Zachary Pastor (left), senior studying pre­law criminal justice, gives a speech in
front of 50 attendance during the Nov. 16 vigil for Paris. | Mohammed F Emran, Asst. Creative Director

Guerin, a Catholic chaplain at FAU, joined Imam Fathi Khalfi of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton at the vigil, while Pastor read a speech from Rabbi Glen Ettman of Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach. A moment of silence and a candle-lighting ceremony involving the three religions began the proceedings, which took place on FAU’s free-speech lawn.

The  Republican club  passed out blue fliers before the vigil bearing the FAU owl logo and a picture of the American flag intertwined with the French flag. The top and bottom were white where people could write messages to the French people.

Some of the messages from the fliers said “may love restore hope,” “#FAUStandsforParis” and “ISIS does not represent Islam.”

Leila Shatara, 42, a member of the Islamic Center, attended the vigil with her daughter. They were both wearing traditional hijabs, a veil worn by a Muslim woman as form of modest attire.

Shatara  said there has been more positive response than negative for the Paris attacks and the Muslim faith, but she’s still worried.

Rev. Louis Guerin lights one of three candles during the Nov. 16th vigil. | Mohammed F Emaran, Asst. Creative Director

Rev. Louis Guerin lights one of three candles during the Nov. 16th vigil. | Mohammed F Emaran, Asst. Creative Director

Her daughter, who attends  Palm Beach State Community College, told her mother pictures of ISIS were all over the computer screens in her classes, and people would walk up to her and congratulate her for the attacks in a sarcastic manner.

Khalfi told those at the vigil that like ISIS, the terrorist acts in no way represent Islam, the world’s most widely practiced religion. The crowd was silent as he spoke and applauded quietly when he finished, as it did with other speakers.

Talia Lerner, 21, junior and president of Owls for Israel, a club dedicated to educating students on Israeli culture and how Israel affects America, said the vigil is a beautiful thing.

“In a world where there’s a lot of bad people; this will show that no matter what, we’ll be one,” she said.

Patrick Martin is the news editor for the University Press. For tips regarding this or other articles, he can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter (@patrickm954)