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Asian Americans Offer Condolences, Urge Caution After Truck Attack in Nice

Members of the Asian-American community have joined world leaders in offering condolences to the people of France.
Image: A Republican Guard pays his respects after lowering the French national flag at half-mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris
A Republican Guard pays respects after lowering the French national flag at half-mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 15, 2016, the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice.PHILIPPE WOJAZER / Reuters

The Asian-American community is responding to Thursday's attack in Nice, France, which left 84 people dead and dozens more injured, after a man drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day. The driver was killed by police.

Asian-American members of Congress joined world leaders in offering condolences to the people of France.

Although no single organization has yet claimed credit for the attack as of Friday morning, Muslim organizations in American and France were quick to condemn both the attacks and Islamophobic backlash.

"We condemn this bloody massacre as we have condemned previous ISIS or ISIS-inspired atrocities and the deviant ideology that produces such senseless and cowardly violence," Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement. "As we mourn the victims and determine how best to protect people of all faiths and backgrounds from such brutal attacks, let us not help the recruiting efforts of ISIS and other terror groups by blaming all Muslims for the murders in France.”

CAIR also criticized former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s recent comments about testing "every person here who is of a Muslim background" and deporting all those who believe in Sharia law.

"When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggests that American Muslims be subjected to an Inquisition-style religious test and then expelled from their homes and nation, he plays into the hands of terror recruiters and betrays the American values he purports to uphold," continued Awad.

RELATED: Newt Gingrich Wants Tests for All U.S. Muslims After Nice Attack

The French advocacy group The Collective against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) which documented the spike in Islamophobic hate crimes in France after the Paris attacks, said in a statement, “The Collective against Islamophobia in France condemns, once again, all forms of violence and sends a message of support and solidarity to all families who have been affected by this disaster.”

The CCIF continued, “In this post-terror context, CCIF calls for the authorities' sense of responsibility and warns against a possible backlash against Muslim communities ... Finally, in this time of mourning and solidarity, we call on political figures and media commentators' higher sense of responsibility, in order to unite our people instead of dividing us. What is happening harms us all, irrespective of our faith, origin or nationality. If we want to stand a chance in defeating terrorism, we must never abandon the very values upon which our country is built: freedom, equality and brotherhood.”

Organizations from the Sikh community also offered condolences and help:

On Thursday following the attacks, one Sikh Canadian was wrongly identified on social media as the suspect — and not for the first time.

RELATED: Sikh Community Condemns Doctored Photo That Depicts Sikh Canadian Man as Terrorist

Last November, after the terror attacks in Paris, a doctored photograph of Veerender Jubbal was falsely identified as one of the suspects in the attacks, both on social media and throughout several media outlets. An old photograph of Jubbal holding an iPad had been doctored to add what appears to be a suicide bomb vest. The iPad in the photograph was changed to look like a Qur'an, and what looks like a sex toy was also added in the background.

The doctored photo allegedly originated during an earlier Gamergate dispute.

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