Muslim-Christian Solidarity in France

Muslims and Catholics joined in Friday prayers at the mosque in the Normandy town where an elderly priest was slain on July 26. The killing of 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel as he celebrated morning Mass sent shockwaves around France and deeply touched many among the nation’s five million Muslims. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. 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. “How,” he asked, addressing the extremists, “did the idea reach your mind that we might loathe those who helped us...to pray to Allah in this town?” He was referring to the help by the Church of Sainte Thérèse, which is adjacent to the mosque and sold the plot to Muslims for a symbolic sum so they could build a house of worship.

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