Saint-Etienne-Du-Rouvray (France): Muslims and Christians joined in Friday prayer at the mosque in the Normandy town where an elderly priest was slain this week, with one imam chastising the extremists as non-Muslims who are “not part of civilization” or “humanity.”
Muslims came from other parts of France to be present for the service shared with Christians.
The killing on Tuesday of the 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel as he celebrated morning Mass sent shockwaves around France, and deeply touched many among the nation’s 5 million Muslims.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as the attack in Nice, where 84 people were killed by a man who plowed his truck down a seaside promenade on Bastille Day.
The head of the main Muslim umbrella group, Anouar Kbibech, who attended Friday’s gathering, reiterated a call for Muslims to visit churches on Sunday to show solidarity with Christians as they pray. But one imam made a rare direct strike at the killers who claimed to act in the name of Allah.
“You have the wrong civilization because you are not a part of civilization. You have the wrong humanity because you are not a part of humanity,” said Abdelatif Hmitou. “You have the wrong idea about us (Muslims) and we won’t forgive you for this.”
“How,” he asked, addressing the extremists, “may the idea reach your mind that we might loathe those who helped us …