The young man had tried to go to Syria to fight with the Islamic State. In a video, Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean and Adel Kermiche, the two terrorists, swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Religious representatives in France: No to religious war. Muslim thinkers: To defeat Isis, guarantee religious freedom for non-Muslim communities in Islamic countries. Others ask for the revision of alliances with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, supporters of the Wahabi jihadism and indirect supporters of the Islamic State.
Paris (AsiaNews) - French police have now identified the second terrorist who two attacked the church of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, days ago killing the priest, Fr. Jacques Hamer, who was celebrating Mass, wounding worshipers and others.
He is Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean, born in 1996 in Saint-Die-des-Vosges. The 19 year old had no records and because of this police had no data, or DNA, making him difficult to identify. In any case, the young man was under observation because he had attempted to go to Syria - via Turkey - to fight next to the militants of the Islamic State.
Abdel appears in a video released by the IS in which, hand in hand with Adel Kermiche – the other young attacker - they swear allegiance to the "Caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the supreme head of the IS (see photo).
Yesterday morning, the religious leaders of France met with President Francois Hollande, pushing their faithful to unity and to resist a "war of religion", as dictated by the IS. For Card. André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, French Muslims "should not get involved in the political game" of the IS, which wants to "put the children of the same family against each other".
Meanwhile, among all the expressions of solidarity, controversy has arisen over the message of Saudi Arabia condemning the "cowardly terrorist act ... rejected by Islam" who instead "calls for the protection of places of worship and forbids the violation of their sacredness". Some French point out that in Saudi Arabia, a US ally in the fight against terrorism, churches and other non-Muslim places of worship are prohibited, as well as prayer in private for non-Muslim communities.
Muslim intellectuals are asking that in order to defuse "religious violence" propagated by the IS war must be "declared on jihadists and action taken to show the true face of Muslims, starting with the recognition of the right for non-Muslims to live and practice their religion in freedom"in Islamic countries.
Other intellectuals instead ask for a revision of alliances with some countries that directly or indirectly support Wahabi jihadism, the Islam of the IS. In a commentary in Le Monde today, Bernard Hourcade, former research director of the CNRS wondered influence cannot be brought to bear on "our allies of Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait or Turkey to change their policy?". He continues: "The excellent political, economic, military (and sports ...) agreements which we have with these states give us a variety of effective ways to activate the logic of a defense policy against the jihadist networks, cutting off their power supply from the source".
Commemorations for the 85-year-old parish priest whose throat was slit in front of the altar, presided by the Archbishop of Rouen, include President Emmanuel Macron, the Interior Minister and Muslim Representatives. The unity between Catholic and Muslim communities has been strengthened. But the government's fight against jihadism has many flaws. Overcrowded prisons, unemployment and marginalization are the ingredients for recruitment and radicalization.
Ahmad Al Tayyeb offers condolences to the French president, the archbishop of Rouen, the victims' families and to the whole of France. The assailants "devoid of any sense of humanity." In Islam "there is the order to respect the sacred places of worship and the sanctity of non-Muslims”. Counter terrorism means also fighting “extremist thought” in Islam.
It had been closed since the day of the murder of the priest at the hands of two young jihadists. A ceremony of reparation led by the Archbishop of Rouen, followed by Mass. Pope Francis has agreed to the request of the faithful to accelerate the process of beatification. The ceremony was also attended by members of the local Muslim community.
The author was known by the security forces as dangerous. The attack a few days ahead of the presidential election. The long series of violence in Paris, Nice, Rouen, and Marseilles. Causes to be found among poverty and abandonment in the suburbs, but also of the fundamentalist teaching of many imams in the French mosques.
The archbishop of Rouen led the Mass in the church where the priest was murdered. Emmanuel Macron thanks the Church of France for her "power of forgiveness". Saint-Etienne-du Rouvray has become a place of pilgrimage for Christians and Muslims.