Preparation of the interreligious meeting in Paris, July 6. (Photo by A PASSILLY)
Muslims in France have participated in an interreligious gathering to show support to Catholics who are still coming to terms with last April’s fire that damaged Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
The Muslims actually requested the gathering as way to offer their solidarity. The meeting was held on July 6 and organized by the Christian movement Efesia as part of the “Together with Mary” interreligious group.
Musicians had been rehearsing for about an hour and people passing by the Quai de la Tournelle, in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, already had their refrain dedicated to Notre-Dame in mind when, around 6 p.m., the gathering officially began.
They followed one another onto the small platform, with its back to the Seine and then on to the cathedral ravaged by the flames on April 15.
Paris’ Auxiliary Bishop Denis Jachiet was on hand to represent Catholics. Anouar Kbibech, Vice-President of the French Council of Muslim Worship, represented the Sunni Muslims, while Sheikh Mohamed Ali Mortada was there for the Shiites.
Much more than the Cathedral of Catholics
“We had organized an event around Mary just before the fire, at the Shiite mosque in La Courneuve, with our friends from Efesia. At a meeting, after the disaster, we asked ourselves how we could show our support for the Christian community,” said Amrina Darmsy Ladha, a Shiite Muslim, after reading a passage from the Quran in front of the 100 people who gathered there.
Like her, many Muslims came to share their sentiments.