Muslims attend Catholic mass in show of solidarity
Members of the Czech Muslim Community gathered outside a Catholic church in Prague on Wednesday to denounce violence and express solidarity with the victims of terrorist attacks, most particularly French priest Jacques Hamel murdered in France by Islamic militants. Many carried banners saying “terrorism is not a religion” and some silently attended mass at the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in a show of respect for Christians.
“The number of terrorist attacks in Europe has been growing and we know that Czechs fear Muslims as a result. We have condemned every single terrorist attack that took place, but written statements never seem to make much of an impact. And the brutality of the latest attack against French priest Jacques Hamel was such that we realized it was time to show ourselves and raise our voice against what is happening. To say we respect other religions and we consider a church a sacred place where people should be able to pray without being threatened.”
Following the mass at the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, some 200 people, both Christians and Muslims joined hands to form a human chain around the church in defiance of protesters who stood nearby with banners reading “We are at home here”. Romana Červenková says she considers Wednesday’s event a step in the right direction and is planning others in the fall which will throw a new and different light on the life and values of Muslims in the Czech Republic.