Last week, two teenagers attacked a Catholic church in Normandy, France and held its worshippers hostage. Father Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old priest, was brutally murdered during the hostage situation, before police finally took the two attackers down.
In an effort to further divide the Muslim community from the rest of the world, Daesh claimed they were responsible for this barbaric attack. However, the Muslim community in France responded by only showing more solidarity with the Catholic Church.
All over France, Muslims have joined in prayer with Catholics and attended mass following the beloved priest’s murder. By attending each other’s religious services, Muslims and Catholics are refusing to give into the division these terrorists are seeking to create.
Imam Otaman Aissaoui told Al-Jazeera, “Being united is a response to the act of horror and barbarism.”
In this show of solidarity with other faiths, the Muslim community in France is separating itself from terrorists who use the name of Islam to carry out violence. Daesh followers attacked Catholics, and Muslims mourned with their Catholic brothers and sisters.
In doing so, they reject any notion that Daesh is Islamic, radical or not, and will not allow any connection to the group. The five million Muslims in France are not letting these attackers break the interfaith bonds between the two religious communities, which Father Hamel always worked so hard to strengthen.
In an even more political stance, Imams in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, are refusing to bury Adel Kermiche, one of the attackers, in an effort to distance themselves from his terrorist actions.
They will not acknowledge any appeal to his claim of Islam. In doing so, French Muslims are not only delivering the message that these terrorists do not represent Islam, but they are also showing their loyalty to France and its diverse communities. French Muslims cherish the bonds they’ve made with communities of other faiths, and this attack only strengthened those bonds.
Written by Nour Saudi