Kawthar Ben Salem, a spokeswoman for the Union of Muslims of the Alpes-Maritimes, tells the New York Times that at least thirty Muslim funerals are being held for victims of the Bastille Day attack – including men, women and children. There were 84 people killed in the attack which occurred when a Tunisian man drove a truck down a crowded street in Nice, where thousands celebrated Bastille Day. The attack was reportedly inspired by ISIS.
About 120,000 people in the Alpes-Maritimes are from the Maghreb (including Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco), the majority of which are Muslim. Nice is also a vacation spot for Muslims from Senegal and other West African countries where French is spoken.
“We hope that this sends a global message that the barbarity touches the whole world,” says Ben Shalem. “And that the people here, the victims, are not those who commit the crimes in Syria and Iraq.”
“There are so many people at the fireworks, of every race, every color, every religion,” remarks Mr. Jamouli, who operates a Moroccan restaurant near where the attack occurred. “Terror basically aims at the whole society and at its freedom.”