Muslim leaders mark anniversary of Bataclan terrorist attack

Commemoration was held a day early to fall on a Friday, in a sign of respect

Muslim leaders in France have begun commemoration services for victims of the Paris 2015 ISIS attack that killed 130 people.

The Paris Mosque marked the sixth anniversary of the assault with a memorial at the Bataclan concert venue – the site of the massacre six years ago.

“It is to show our solidarity with the victims that we have offered to meet here, which is for Muslims an important day,” Paris Mosque rector Chems-Eddine Hafiz said.

“We wanted the imams to come to meet the relatives of the victims, share a moment of solidarity and hand over a wreath of flowers in memory of all the victims of the Bataclan, all without exception.”

Muslim leaders laid a wreath at the venue in Paris’s 11th arrondissement, one day before a broader commemoration is scheduled to take place.

The Paris mosque held its commemoration a day early to fall on a Friday, a special weekly prayer day, in a sign of respect.

This year’s anniversary coincides with the continuing trial of 19 people who allegedly provided supporting or logistical roles in the attack and one attacker, Salah Abdeslam, who was arrested when the explosive vest failed to detonate.

The attack began at the Stade de France in Paris when the first bomber detonated his vest outside while President Francois Hollande was inside watching a Germany-France football match.

Gunmen opened fire on cafes and restaurants in a popular part of the capital and stormed Bataclan concert hall.

By the end of the night, 130 people were dead, 90 of them at Bataclan.

Relatives of some of the victims said they appreciated the gesture by the Paris Mosque.

“[It] is a testimony of real brotherhood that crosses religions and crosses the whole of humanity,” said Philippe Duperron, president of 13onze15, an association of survivors and victims’ relatives.

Mr Duperron lost his son Thomas in the attack at the concert venue, and he has since fought for awareness and justice. He also visited the site of the concert attack on Friday.

“Thomas died in the Bataclan. He was 30 years old. He died [here] in front of the Bataclan. He came out alive, but he died in the night,” he said.

Updated: November 12th 2021, 4:31 PM