Chesterfield’s Muslim community condems ‘absolutely shocking’ Paris terror attacks

A woman looks at floral tributes and candles left at Place de la Republique in Paris following the terrorist attacks on Friday evening.
A woman looks at floral tributes and candles left at Place de la Republique in Paris following the terrorist attacks on Friday evening.
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Chesterfield’s Muslim community has condemned the Paris terror atrocities – calling them “absolutely shocking”.

The Chesterfield Muslim Association spoke out after Friday’s attacks which left at least 129 people dead and 350 injured in France’s capital.

The group also said it is fearful of a backlash following the killings.

Extremists targeted bars and restaurants, a concert hall and the Stade de France.

The group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Nisar Suleman, of the Chesterfield Muslim Association, said: “We completely condemn the actions of extremists wherever they may be, whatever their cause.

“It’s absolutely shocking that so many people have lost their lives and been injured.

“Our thoughts are with all their family and friends and the people of Paris.

“These people were enjoying their Friday nights and this should not have happened.

“The extremists are twisted.

“Islam doesn’t tell people to do this sort of thing – it’s a very peaceful religion.

“I wish the killings would stop.”

Mr Suleman added: “We are fearful of a backlash after what’s happened on the streets of Paris.

“We were targeted after the Charlie Hebdo attack in the same city at the start of the year.”

On Monday, residents across Chesterfield and the rest of Derbyshire fell silent at 11am to remember those who died.

Chesterfield Borough Council has opened a book of condolence in memory of the victims.

The book can be signed at the council’s customer service centre in New Square.

The union flag will also fly at half mast on the Town Hall until sunset on Monday.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins called the attacks “horrific”. He added: “Terrorists don’t represent Muslims I have met.”

Prime minister David Cameron said: “My message to the French people is simple: nous sommes solidaires avec vous. Nous sommes tous ensemble. We stand with you. United.

“It is clear that the threat from IS is evolving. Friday night’s attack suggests a new degree of planning and co-ordination and a greater ambition for mass casualty attacks. And we must recognise that however strong we are, however much we prepare, we in the UK face the same threat.That’s why we continue to encourage the public to remain vigilant.”