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Normandy mosque in mourning: Muslims pay tribute to slain priest

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Normandy mosque in mourning: Muslims pay tribute to slain priest

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Hundreds gathered at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray’s Yahia Mosque, including three Catholic priests, for a minute’s silence to honour slain priest Jacques Hamel.

Strong bonds already existed in this small community. The Catholic Church donated the land on which the Yahia Mosque stands.

The new priest in charge of the parish Father Auguste Moanda told worshippers to strengthen those bonds.

“This event must reinforce our friendship and fraternity,” Moanda told worshipers. “We are supposed to build bridges, not walls. You know, in our society, more and more walls are constructed, and us, human beings, believers, we must show the example to build bridges between us.”

The Imam spoke during Friday prayers three days after assailants took Father Hamel hostage and killed him in front of a group of churchgoers.

“[Lord] close our hearts against any siren of hate, any siren calling for murder, any siren who claims that killing innocent people could wash the disgrace that a lot muslims are
exposed to all around the world,” said Sheikh Abdellatif Hmitou.

In Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray’s other small church, dozens of Catholics paid tribute to Father Hamel who will be buried on Tuesday (August 3).

Many elderly locals were eager to once again pray in his memory.

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