Muslim and Jewish leader gather at Paris concert hall
French Muslims leaders on Sunday gathered outside the Bataclan concert hall to honour the 89 people who were killed when four men brandishing AK-47 assault rifles opened fire in the hall.
Muslims leaders, who were accompanied by the French capital’s Jewish leaders, brought white roses to the site of the incident. By joining hands with representatives of the Jewish community, French Muslims wanted to show inter-faith solidarity.
The group, by this act, sent a strong message across — the attackers may have claimed to be killing on behalf of Islamic State, but their actions had nothing to do with the teachings of Islam.
Hassen Chalghoumi, the Imam of Drancy, a Paris suburb, explaining the matter, said, “Anyone who uses hate speech has no place in France and those places that preach hate are not places of prayer but are those of a sect. After this tragedy and the more than 100 deaths, now is the time to close these places of hate.”
Representatives of the Jewish and Muslim communities join people gathered at the makeshift memorial near the Bataclan concert hall. PHOTO: AFP
Further, Chalghoumi, who says he is the subject of an Islamic State “fatwa” calling for his killing, said, “1.5 million people are hostages of Da’ish, 1.5 million people are hostages of these barbarians who are sullying the name of Islam and Muslims. It’s time to say no to this barbarity.”
The flower-laying ceremony came as a result of a warning from political analysts to the Polish-born French Jewish author Marek Halter, that the attack, which occurred weeks before regional elections, may play in favour of the far-right Front National (FN).
Imams sing French national anthem. PHOTO: THE GUARDIAN
According to reports, the FN president, Marine Le Pen met Francois Hollande, the French president to discuss matters regarding the attack. Calling for immediate action to combat extremism, Pen suggested that all those linked to terrorism should be stripped off their French nationality and be ousted from the country.
Meanwhile, Laurent Bouvet, a professor of political science at Versailles University admitted that the attacks have left a sense of fear in the atmosphere, thus, he said, “Fear, insecurity, questions of nationality, closing borders and cracking down, all this kind of talk can benefit Marine Le Pen.”
Earlier, the Imam of Bordeaux, Tarek Oubrou talkign to Le Journal du Dimanche, said, “From a religious point of view, Islam’s position is very clear: these murders call for a triple condemnation – ethical, legal and theological.
“Ethical because no morality allows for the killing of innocent people, legal because these acts do not respect war as it is decreed in the Muslim tradition and theological because these suicide bombers are convinced they’re going to heaven when they actually risk finding themselves in hell.”
However, the Imam stated that communications from Muslim institutions, were not enough “Muslims must also demonstrate to say ‘stop’ – to say that we don’t accept these actions being done in the name of our religion.”