The despicable act of murdering an 86 year old Catholic Priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, in Normandy, France, is absolutely abhorrent.
This attack in a place of worship and on innocent worshippers in particular demonstrates that there are no boundaries to the depravity of these murderers. In this extremely difficult time for the Catholic community, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of all faiths and none in defiance of those who look to spread a poisonous and perverted ideology by bloodshed.
Daesh / ISIS has proved, as it did in Medina less than a month ago, its complete distain of all faiths including the one it falsely claims it represents.
An attack on any place of worship, is an attack on the way of life of faith communities, and therefore an attack on all of us, regardless of who you are, where you come from and your faith.
Even during the time of a war, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ gave the following instructions: “Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship.”
One of the Normandy murderers was a convicted criminal with an electronic tag on his ankle after trying to join Daesh in Syria many times. Further investigation needs to take place regarding how he was able to commit such violence.
Faith communities must not let this tragic incident create division between communities, give rise to hatred, fear and suspicion and destabilise the mutual relationship and understating that we have between us. Only together can we defeat this indiscriminate killing of innocent people across the world, and bring about peace and harmony.