In honor of the slain priest, Rev. Jacques Hamel, Muslims across Italy and France attended Catholic masses on Sunday. Many have categorized this as a “gesture of solidarity”.
Following the death of the 85-year old French priest by ISIS inspired teenagers, both Muslims and Christians have come together to mourn the death of the fallen priest.
According to reports, a size-able number of Muslims gathered at the Gothic cathedral in Rouen, near Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray where the 85-year old’s life was brutally taken.
Recognizing and appreciating their presence in the church, Dominique Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen had this to say:
“We are very moved by the presence of our Muslim friends, and I believe it is a courageous act that they did by coming to us.”
One of the nuns who escaped death on the day of the attack was there present. It was a thing of worthy note that the nun who naturally would be traumatized by the sight of Muslims joined other Catholics in welcoming the Muslims.
Outside the church the Muslims made a bold statement with their banners which read, “Love for all. Hate for none.”
Jacqueline Prevot, a Christian who terms the Muslim’s visit “a magnificent gesture” believes that Rev. Jacques Hamel’s death could foster more understanding than division between the 2 religions.
“Look at this whole Muslim community that attended Mass. I find this very heartwarming; I am confident. I say to myself that this assassination won’t be lost, that it will maybe relaunch us better than politics can do; maybe we will react in a better way.”
It is said that the Muslim sect-Ahmadiyya Muslims- dishing out this noble gesture differ from the mainstream Muslims. The Ahmadiyya sect are a minority who do not believe that Mohammed is the last prophet.
3 imams attended the occasion. Ahmed El Balzai, the imam of the Vobarno mosque in the Lombard province of Brescia, dared to speak up in condemnation of the attack that killed Rev. Jacques Hamel in France.
“I am not afraid. … These people are tainting our religion and it is terrible to know that many people consider all Muslim terrorists. That is not the case. Religion is one thing. Another is the behavior of Muslims who don’t represent us.”
Father Jacques Hamel’s attack followed shortly after the Bastille Day attack in France. As a result, the French government has ordered the closure of 20 mosques.
The murdered priest’s funeral is currently ongoing. Report says he will be interred in a private burial today.