Penn law students rally to mourn deaths in Paris, stand up for Muslim community

A group of law students at the University of Pennsylvania gathered Tuesday to show solidarity with those grieving for the 129 people killed by terrorists Friday night in Paris.

The Muslim Law Students Association and other campus outfits held a moment of silence and asked that observers not marginalize an entire community for the actions of terrorists.

“Those terrorists that are bombing people in the name of a religion have nothing to do with peaceful Muslims,” said Serene Lefevre of France, who is studying this year in Philadelphia. “They have literally nothing to do with them. We’re not being fooled by this.”

Lefevre and his friends often frequented some of the sites where the shootings occurred, making the violent incidents especially jarring for him. Watching the events unfold from afar, he said, has also been emotionally taxing.

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Lefevre knows some who were injured and killed in the Paris attacks.

In his grief, he demonstrated in hope that Muslims communities around the world are not unfairly tied to the violent attacks.

That’s why law student Leah Wong organized the event.

“To remind people, in the upcoming weeks, if there is fear and paranoia toward a group of people that don’t deserve it, it’s misguided,” Wong said. She was there representing the International Human Rights Advocates, a campus organization. 

“The Muslim Law Student Association heavily championed this event with us, and that was beautiful because, unfortunately, even though they absolutely should not have had to come out and say, ‘As Muslim law students, we want to just remind everyone that the Islam faith has nothing to do with those attacks, they felt they had to,” Wong said. “That’s the world we live in.”

At the end of the day, Wong said, the percentage of the world that’s “trying to ruin it for everyone else” remains vanishingly small.

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