A show of unity was the ultimate goal for the interfaith service held in St. John's Parish in London. Leaders of the city's Muslim community and its members congregated with the Christian Church for a Eucharistic service last Sunday.
According to a Christian Today report, the Muslim leaders who attended the church service included an imam and board member of the Muslim Law Council, Dr. Mamadou Bocoum; the first Muslim partner of Price Waterhouse in the United Kingdom, Mohammed Amin; and Rabina Khan, a former Tower Hamlets councilor.
An integration campaign group called Faith Matters organized the service together with the Rector of St. John's Parish, Rev. Alan Green. It was a move to demonstrate community and friendship after last month's brutal killing of a well-known priest, Father Jacques Hamel. The joint service was said to "confirm the importance of life within both faiths and to come together in the spirit of solidarity, empathy and care for the dignity and lives of each other."
Reports said Father Green, who is currently chair of Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum stated: "Joining together today with respect for both Christianity and Islam, we encourage all – with or without a religious faith – to respond to violent provocation by actively proclaiming our values of hospitality, openness and freedom by our words and actions. We must not allow terrorists and criminals to undermine those values nor our commitment to them."
Mohammed Amin, one of the Muslim community leaders present at the event said that he was in the U.S. visiting his son when the attack on Father Hamel happened. "I believe that when faced by such barbarism, all people of goodwill need to stand together. Today was my first chance to show my solidarity by attending a church service. As a Muslim, I am outraged by the way bloodthirsty savages like the people in ISIS have hijacked my religion, and used it to justify hate and murder. All Muslims have a duty to resist them," he shared.
According to a report by Independent Catholic News, a similar interfaith service was held in France last July. Muslims from all over Europe attended Christian services in their area to express solidarity with the Church after Father Hamel's death.