Muslims go to Mass in France and Italy

In a show of solidarity with their Catholic neighbours, Muslims all over France attended Mass on Sunday, five days after a murderous claimed attack on a Catholic priest in Normandy.

France’s Muslim council, the CFCM, urged Muslims to show “solidarity and compassion” over Father Jacques Hamel’s murder.

“We are all Catholics of France,” said Anouar Kbibech, the head of the CFCM.

Between 100 and 200 Muslims gathered at the cathedral in Rouen, only a few miles from Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, where the 85-year-old Hamel was killed by two teenage attackers.

“We’re very touched,” Archbishop Dominique Lebrun told broadcaster BFMTV.

“It’s an important gesture of fraternity . They’ve told us, and I think they’re sincere, that it’s not Islam which killed Jacques Hamel.”

Outside the church, a group of Muslims were applauded when they unfurled a banner: “Love for all. Hate for none.”

Similar interfaith gatherings were repeated elsewhere in France, as well as in neighboring Italy.

At Paris’ iconic Notre Dame cathedral, Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Mosque of Paris, said repeatedly that Muslims want to live in peace.

“The situation is serious,” he told BFMTV.

“Time has come to come together so as not to be divided.”

Three imams also attended Mass at the St. Maria Church in Rome’s Trastevere neighborhood, donning their traditional dress as they entered the sanctuary and sat down in the front row.

In a further example of their disgust with the teenage killers, the Muslim community in Normandy is refusing to bury Adel Kermiche.

They say they do not want to “taint” Islam by having any connection to the jihadist.

News category: World.

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