French Muslims won't bury priest killer, mourn with Christians

French Muslims won't bury priest killer, mourn with Christians
2 min read
30 July, 2016
The Muslim community has taken a stand against the brutal killing of a priest in France by refusing to bury the assailant and organising a unity march with Christian groups.
Muslim and Christian groups planned a unity march amid rising tension [AFP]
Muslims have refused to bury the body of a militant that killed a Christian priest in France on Saturday, as Christian and Muslim groups organised vigils in a show of unity.

Members of the the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray Muslim community said they did not want to "taint" their religon by being involved in the burial of Adel Kermichie, Sky News reported.

Mohammed Karabila, president of the local Muslim cultural association and imam of one of the town's mosques, told Le Parisien "we're not going to taint Islam with this person.

"We won't participate in preparing the body or the burial," he added.

"What this young man did was sinful, he is no longer part of our community," he said Khalid el-Amrani, a 25-year-old member of the community in the area.

Meanwhile, Muslim and Christian groups are planning ongoing vigils in remembrance of the slain priest that was killed in a brutal attack claimed by Islamic State, when the militant and another associate of his, identified as Abdel-Malik Petitjean, stormed a church last week.

A "brotherhood march" was planned by a regional Muslim council in a bid to forge unity among the two communities as tensions continued to rise in the southeastern city of Lyon.

Another non-denominational vigil is expected to be held in a Bordeaux church while prayers were planned at the Saint-Etienne church where the killing took place during a mass celebration on Tuesday.

France is home to one of Europe's largest Muslim populations and hosts more than 2,000 mosques, many funded by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf or northern African countries.

The attacks prompted strong criticism of French officials, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve for perceived security failings.

Valls said he would consider a temporary ban on foreign financing of mosques, urging a "new model" for relations with Islam after a spate of attacks.