Participants left the Champs-Elysées on Saturday and will be on the road until 14 July travelling to cities hit by terrorism. At each venue, they will hold a moment of prayer with Jews and Christians in memory of the victims. “Not in our name,” said a Lisbon imam. For Imam Drouiche, Muslims must respect Western values, which are also taught by “spiritual” Islam.
Berlin/Paris (AsiaNews) – The “Muslim March Against Terror" left Paris on Saturday morning. At least 60 imams met at the Champs-Elysées to remember Xavier Jugelé, a policeman killed last April, before they boarded a bus to travel to European cities hit by terrorism.
The imams arrived in Berlin yesterday, and today arrived in Brussels, where they were welcomed by local religious representatives and Belgian political authorities. The next stop will be London before travelling to French cities touched by terrorist attacks.
Sheikh David Munir, imam of Lisbon’s central mosque, welcomed the initiative, "historic in Europe", he said. "Some people commit crimes in the name of Islam, and we are here to say 'not in our name',” he added.
In Berlin, the imams were warmly welcomed by German Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim leaders, as well as politicians at Berlin’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche).
Together with other Muslim leaders, they gathered in Breitscheidplatz, where an attack on 19 December 2016 left 12 people dead and 50 wounded. Here they prayed together with local Islamic, Christian and Jewish representatives.
For Hocine Drouiche, an imam from Nîmes, this march sends a clear message of "brotherhood against terrorism".
"Today is the time to denounce political Islam. Islamists must stop holding Islam hostage," Drouiche said in an interview with Al-Mouwatin TV. "Muslims have to adapt to Western values because they are human values that spiritual Islam carries and teaches us, namely humanism."
For the tolerant and moderate imam, Muslims in the West must work decisively together for coexistence. Speaking about coexistence, he went on to say, "We share the same country with Christians, Jews, atheists, Buddhists. If a fire is lit, no one will be spared from the flames."
The imams have the courage to denounce the crimes committed in the name of Islam. With their march, they are calling for a stop to the wave of hatred warning against possible sectarian strife.
In fact, the goal of the Islamic State group is to export war to Europe, to pit people against each other, divide the youth of Europe, and split European society on the basis of religion.
Fortunately, European society is well aware of the unwholesome goals of the Islamic State (also known as Daesh by its Arabic acronym) and wants to uphold intercommunal coexistence.
The march will end on 14 July, Bastille Day, France’s national day, at the Champ-de-Mars in Paris. Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox representatives will be waiting for the imams to honour together the victims of Islamist terrorism.