Brooklyn mourns: Hundreds gather at candlelight vigil for victims of terror attacks

The Brooklyn Paper
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Hundreds of Brooklynites gathered with local pols and religious leaders for a candlelight vigil in Carroll Gardens on Sunday evening, mourning those who died in terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday.

Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders led a crowd of around 400 in prayer at Carroll Park on Smith Street before the assembly marched through neighborhood streets to a second service at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church on Sackett Street, and attendees said it warmed their hearts to see so many groups come together for the occasion.

“It was very nice and open,” said Boris Meyer, a Parisian who lives in Carroll Gardens. “We saw Jewish people, Muslim, Christians, and people like me that are not necessarily believers all gathering together. It’s beautiful.”

Borough President Adams organized the event ostensibly to support Brooklyn’s French community after terrorists killed 129 people in Paris on Friday. But he and other speakers equally denounced the suicide bombers who murdered 40 in Lebanon on Thursday, as well as the terrorists who slaughtered 147 people at a university in Kenya in April, while standing in front of French, Lebanese, Kenyan, and American flags at the Carroll Park War Memorial.

“Je suis Kenya, je suis Beirut, je suis France,” said Councilman Jumaane Williams (D–Flatbush), harking back to the “Je suis Charlie” — or “I am Charlie” — slogan popularized after terrorists killed 12 people at the Paris offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January.

Carroll Gardens — sometimes called “Little Paris” — is widely regarded as the center of Brooklyn’s French expatriate community, home to many French restaurants, the borough’s annual Bastille Day celebration, and several schools that teach classes in French.

But residents from a rainbow of backgrounds turned out to the vigil to show their support and say a prayer on Sunday — the least they could do for their neighbors, according to one attendee.

“I would like to think that any decent human being would be horrified by what happened in Paris and would want to show solidarity,” said Park Sloper Neil Feldman, a fourth-generation New Yorker.

Leaders delivered messages of peace and unity in the wake of the attacks, but Adams also said he would organize meetings with law enforcement officials and major Brooklyn gathering places like Barclays Center and MCU Park in coming weeks to make sure staff there are trained to look out for suspicious activity.

“While we want you to go about your business as usual, we are going to do what we have to do as governmental officials to make sure this borough remains safe,“ said Adams. “We are going to remain vigilant.”

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at or by calling (718) 260–9309. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Charles Martel from France says:
Very warm and well intentioned event in support of the Paris victims. But I can't help but think that the participation of Islamic clerics is not appropriate. As much as we wish this were not true, ISIS is closely imitating what Mohammed and his companions did. They just have better weapons. Peaceful Islam is aspirational, what we and peaceful Muslims hope for. ISIS represents what Mohammed actually was, and the religion he created.
Nov. 16, 2015, 9:51 am
Sammy from Brooklyn from South Brooklyn says:
Nice that Charles lumped Islamic clerics with ISIS.
Nov. 16, 2015, 9:57 am
Chip Sanchez from Williamsburg says:
Glad that Mr. Charles Martel thinks it all revolves around him and the French. From the article "But he and other speakers equally denounced the suicide bombers who murdered 40 in Lebanon on Thursday, as well as the terrorists who slaughtered 147 people at a university in Kenya in April, while standing in front of French, Lebanese, Kenyan, and American flags at the Carroll Park War Memorial."
Nov. 16, 2015, 10:01 am
Matthew from Prospect Heights says:
Mr. Sanchez might reflect that racists have to lower themselves into the gutter in order to make their feelings known. But no facts, just racist, inhuman utterings—just when we need solidarity of all people to combat terrorism. How sad.
Nov. 16, 2015, 10:49 am
Ed from Brooklyn Hts says:
Matthew, we certainly don't need bigotry. But we do need to be clear about what we are fighting. ISIS is not some radical invention or perversion of Islam. ISIS represents the fundamental nature of Islam and Mohammed. ISIS is doing exactly what Mohammed did to spread Islam; the use of extreme violence.
Nov. 16, 2015, 10:58 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
when one google search "Sharia4Belgium", racial Isam groups immigrated and living in Belgium seeks to denounces democracy and calls for Belgium to convert itself into an Islamist state.
Nov. 16, 2015, 11:29 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
it's only a matter of time some Western countries will limit immigration of certain ethic groups as Arabic countries limit non-Muslims.
Nov. 16, 2015, 11:33 am
JP from Brooklyn Heights says:
The time for candlelight Vigils is long over. The time to fight and win the war against radical Islam is NOW. The time for a president who is actually ON OUR SIDE is now. The time to stop being intimidated and being politically correct not to offend Muslims is NOW
Nov. 16, 2015, 6:31 pm
Elise from Boerum Hill says:
I am from France as well and was very happy and touched to see Christians, Jewish and Muslims gather yesterday. It was a meaningful and beautiful ceremony, and comforting at a time when we need to welcome back hope.
Nov. 16, 2015, 7:41 pm
Trollerskates says:
We have birthers in Brooklyn Heights?
Nov. 16, 2015, 8:27 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
The Russian plane wasn't included?
Nov. 16, 2015, 9:52 pm
Fred from Park Slope says:
Totalitarian belief systems like Islam are ultimately dependent on violence and suppression of free thought for survival. The key to breaking ISIS, and ultimately Islam, of their repressive power is for people of good will to confront these belief systems, and those that make excuses for them.
Nov. 16, 2015, 10:17 pm
Creola Knutson says:
Interesting post!
Read a lot on
Nov. 17, 2015, 2:29 am
Powder from Brooklyn Heights says:
Muslim leaders claim to feel sympathy, and yet they foster the ideas that lead to these attacks. Why are organized terrorist attacks basically only commited by muslims? Why are there issues with muslim immigrants in basicly every Western country. They say the issue is muslim fundametalism - does that mean that there is something wrong with the fundamentals of the muslim religion?
Nov. 17, 2015, 4:31 am
samir kabir from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Prophet Mohamed did not "create" Islam. God did.
Nov. 17, 2015, 6:50 am
Rob from BoCoCa says:
Matt @ 10;49. YOur comment confuses me....?
Nov. 17, 2015, 8:04 am
Boris from Borough Park says:
Samir, Mohammed was no prophet, and he and his companions did indeed invent Islam.
Nov. 17, 2015, 8:44 am
Bay Ridge from MJ says:
I really missed the days when I don't have to go through metal detectors when going to Airports and museums.
Nov. 17, 2015, 8:51 am
Henry from Cobble Hill says:
Samir, in a free society like the US your right to your delusions will be protected, so long as those beliefs don't harm others. But don't expect your delusions themselves to be respected.
Nov. 17, 2015, 9:46 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Good to know the Brooklyn Paper's readership extends their ignorance and bigotry to all aspects of life. Yet they speak of American values while they spew this crap.
Nov. 17, 2015, 11:15 am
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
You people are worse than terrorists really. No wonder the muslims want to blow you up.
Nov. 17, 2015, 1:10 pm
Jimmy from Flatbush says:
Good to see an impersonation (1:10pm) to underscore the general ignorance and flippancy of the folks on here.
Nov. 17, 2015, 2:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I do give my condolences to those that died in Paris by ISIS, and I feel that what was done was wrong by them. However, I would like to add the victims that were killed by Hamas in that candlelight vigil as well especially the ones that were attacked by random shootings and stabbings done by that terrorist group. I find it an irony that after what happened by that stadium, France did airstrikes on Syria and it was justified, but when Israel was doing that on the Gaza Strip to stop Hamas, much of the world cried foul. Another irony is that while so many condemn terrorist groups such as ISIS and many others, groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Fatah are almost ignored or even condoned for their actions when attacking Israeli civilians. In reality, I feel that you can't say that thee are good or bad terrorists, and that you must either hate them all or love them all. Seriously, I could never understand why so many treat terrorist groups that attack Israelis different than all others not to mention condemn Israel for fighting back when other countries did similar methods. For the record, I don't hate Muslims as a whole, I just would like it if more of them would call out those that are committing the terrorist acts if it happens to be from their group rather than act silent or possibly support them.
Nov. 17, 2015, 3:24 pm
Brian from Bensonhurst says:
Neither the "real" nor the "fake" post from Jimmy from Flatbush made much of a contribution to the discussion.
Nov. 17, 2015, 3:32 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I hate to have to be the one to say it, but here is the thing:
John Wasserman
Nov. 17, 2015, 6:37 pm

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