Muslims all across France have been attending Catholic Mass to show solidarity among the French people, regardless of religion, following the horrifying attack in which Radical Islamic terrorists murdered Father Jacques Hamel. Two 19-year-old radicalized Muslims from France, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, entered a Catholic church during mass, forced Father Hamel to his knees, then slit his throat in front of the entire congregation. More than 100 Muslims were among the 2,000 people who gathered at the cathedral of Rouen near the Normandy town where the atrocity took place. Other Muslims across France are following in their footsteps in an effort to show non-muslims that the actions of Radical Islamists do not represent French Muslims.
The Muslims that gathered at Rouen are not alone. Nice’s top imam, Otaman Aissaoui, led a Muslim delegation to a catholic church in Nice, France to show support for the 84 people killed and 308 injured during the Bastille day attack in Nice, France. Notre Dame church in southwestern Bordeaux also welcomed a Muslim delegation, led by another of the the city’s top imams Tareq Oubrou. Several prominent members of the Muslim population published a joint letter condemning the actions of of Radical Muslims in France which also stated in the letter:
“We, French and Muslim, are ready to assume our responsibilities.”
France is host to Europe’s largest Muslim population. Over 5 million Muslims currently reside in the nation. Prime Minister Manuel Valls is calling for a “pact” between the Muslim and non-muslim populations of France. He is calling for the French to take a united stand against Radical Islam. He stated:
“Islam has found its place in France … contrary to the repeated attacks of populists on the right and far-right, this intolerable rejection of Islam and Muslims”.
Critics of the movement are calling it nothing more than a “feel good” move. They point to the release of a Syrian refugee who was taken into custody after a copy of his passport was found in the home of one of the teens that killed Father Hamel. Authorities claim that “Nothing suggests he had any involvement [in the attack].” Meanwhile a French prosecutor claims that the suspect:
“was fully aware of his cousin’s imminent violent action, even if he did not know the precise place or day”
Critics claim that this refugee is one of many French Muslims that are indifferent to the terror attack in France that the community is unwilling to do what is necessary to fight radical Islam.