France's Muslims "horrified" by ISIL acts
"Muslims should stop the guilt complex...stop apologizing for acts that neither we or our religion are responsible of...Not on my name, please," says French Muslim

Thousands of France’s Muslims gathered at the Great Mosque of Paris after Friday prayer to denounce the "barbaric" acts of ISIL and condemn the execution of a French national this week in Algeria.

The Imam (head) of the Great Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Dalil Boubakeur, called on French Muslims and their friends on Thursday to attend the rally in condemnation of terrorism.

"We Muslims of France, we say stop the barbarity," Boubakeur told the crowd gathered outside the mosque.

"This gathering is a strong expression of our desire for national unity and our will to live together," he said.

On Wednesday, the Jund al-Khilafa group in Algeria, who claim to be linked to ISIL, published a video entitled "Blood Message to France," apparently showing the decapitation of the French kidnapped national Herve Pierre Gourdel, the 55-year-old mountain guide who was kidnapped over the weekend in Tizi-Ouzou in north central Algeria.

Reading a verse from the Koran, the Imam of the Great Mosque said that killing a man is similar to "killing all humanity...Islam demands respect for life."

France has the largest Muslim population in Europe estimated at five-million and Islam is the second largest religion in the country.

The #PasEnMonNom hashtag

French Twitter and Facebook users launched the hashtag "#PasEnMonNom" referring to its Anglo-Saxon equivalent "#NotInMyName" originally created by the British Active Change Foundation on September 10, as a way of expressing Muslims' refusal to be associated with the ISIL group.

Widely used by France’s Muslims, they tweet messages expressing their outrage, condemnation and thoughts on ISIL's activities referring to them with their Arabic acronym 'DAECH'.

One user twitted:" As a Muslim, I do not know the religion that ISIL claims. My religion calls for co-existence and peace."

"When the whole world is looking towards you and sees you as an accomplice to all acts of terrorism, one must say loud and clear that Muslims are innocent of all the crimes committed in their name. Sincere condolences to the family of Herve Gourdel. They are in our prayers," wrote Sayida, a French Muslim on her Facebook page.

Stop the guilt complex...Stop apologizing

However, not all of France’s Muslims approve of this reaction of apology and justification.

"Do not ask me to apologize on behalf of Islam," is the headline of an article written Thursday by Moussa Bourekba, a researcher in French daily Le Nouvel Observateur.

In the article, Bourekba begs his colleagues, neighbors and friends to stop asking him to apologize in the name of his religion.

"Gourdel has left us, may his soul rest in peace. When I say "us" I mean as a French citizen, as a Muslim, and above all as a human being," wrote Bourekba.

"I don’t go around asking Catholics to apologize in the name of all Christians every time there is a pedophilia scandal,” he added. "And I would never ask Protestants to publicly condemn Anders Breivik - the Norwegian mass murderer. Just like these people, the madmen who killed Herve Gourdel are not of my community.”

Jad, a Parisian Muslim, told an Anadolu Agency correspondent that he "is still horrified by the barbaric killing of Gourdel."

He didn't participate in the gathering at the Grand Mosque because he refuses to protest against this inhumane act on an ethnic basis.

"It should be based on our nationality but most importantly our humanitarian sense," he said.

"Muslims should really stop the guilt complex...stop apologizing for acts that neither we or our religion are responsible of...Stop saying sorry...Not on my name, please."

France on high alert

Speaking in the French Parliament on Wednesday, France's Premier Manuel Valls said the ISIL group did not represent Islam, adding "Jihadism is just a violent message that contradicts the universal values of Islam."

"France makes a clear distinction between Islam - the second religion of France; an asset to our country - and Islamism as a terrorist act," he said seeking to send a reassuring message to France's Muslims.

France, the first Western country to join the U.S.-led air-strikes on ISIL targets in Iraq, is on high alert against any potential terrorist attacks since Gourdel was killed in Algeria, just after ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani issued an online audio message that called on supporters to kill the nationals of Western countries taking part in the coalition.

"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European, especially the nasty and filthy French, or an Australian, or a Canadian... including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah and kill him," he said.

On Thursday, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs expanded its list of dangerous countries from 31 to 40 countries, warning French people to use their "utmost vigilance” if they visit these places.

The French government announced that police and military presence will be increased in public places and in public transport areas for security reasons.

Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday he has information that ISIL plans bomb attacks on the New York City and Paris subway systems.

France’s General Secretariat for Defense and National Security also released a statement on Thursday evening denying any planned attacks on the Paris Metro after the Iraqi prime minister's announcement.

"At this point in time, the intelligence services does not hold any information allowing them to confirm such a threat against the Metro," he said.

Meanwhile, France is in national mourning over Gourdel's death; and flags will be flown at half-mast for three days starting Friday.

Last Modified: 2014-09-27 09:46:36
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