Muslims in France and Italy took a stand against the recent barbaric attacks carried out in the name of Islam by ISIS by showing up to Sunday Mass in churches and cathedrals yesterday.
Pictured above are Muslims gathered at the towering Gothic cathedral in Rouen, where 85-year-old French priest Rev Jacques Hamel had his throat slit by two teenage Islamic extremists on Tuesday.members of the congregation in the Santa Maria Caravaggio church in Milan
Some of the Muslims sat in the front row, across from the altar where Adel Kermiche and Abdelmalik Petitjean, both 19, filmed themselves performing an Islamic sermon before slitting the elderly priest’s throat.
Among the parishioners was one of the nuns who was briefly taken hostage at Hamel’s church when he was killed.
She joined her fellow Catholics in turning to shake hands or embrace the Muslim churchgoers after the service.
Outside the church, a group of Muslims were applauded when they unfurled a banner: ‘Love for all. Hate for none.’
‘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,’ Dominique Lebrun, the archbishop of Rouen, said after the service.
Churchgoer Jacqueline Prevot said the attendance of Muslims was ‘a magnificent gesture.’
‘Look at this whole Muslim community that attended Mass,’ she said. ‘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.’
Many of the Muslims who attended the service in Rouen – including those with the banner – were Ahmadiyya Muslims, a minority sect that differs from mainstream Islam in that it doesn’t regard Muhammad as the final prophet.
Similar interfaith gatherings were repeated elsewhere in France, as well as in neighboring Italy.