European tour of Muslim leaders to protest against terror creates polemics among Muslims community

Dozens of religious leaders boarded a bus on the Champs Elysees in Paris on Saturday to kick off a European tour of the sites of recent Islamist attacks to remember the victims and condemn violence, Reuters reports.    Imams from countries including France, Belgium, Britain and Tunisia were joined by representatives of other religious communities at the spot where French policeman Xavier Jugele was shot dead in April.

We are here to say that our religion and the values of Islam are opposed to those assassins,” Hassen Chalghoumi, the imam de Drancy, told France Inter radio on Saturday.

Not all Muslim leaders agreed with them. In a joint statement, three Muslim leaders – Dalil Boubakeur, Abdallah Zekri of the Grande mosquée de Paris, Amar Lasfar representing “Musulmans de France” criticised the initiative: “We are extremely worried by negative opinion French people have on Islam (…) and we refuse any link between Islam and terrorism,” they say quoted by La Croix.