COPENHAGEN,: A Danish Muslim group has offered to bury one of the jihadists who murdered a French priest, after Muslim leaders in France refused to do so, a newspaper said Wednesday.
Adel Kermiche, a 19-year-old militant, was shot dead by French police on July 26 after he and another assailant attacked a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvroy in northern France, murdering priest Jacques Hamel and seriously injuring another hostage. After standing in solidarity with Christians mourning the victims of the attack, Muslim leaders in France have refused to grant Kermiche an Islamic burial.
“It is a human right to be buried, no matter what you have done,” Kasem Said Ahmad, who heads the Danish Islamic Burial Fund, told Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. The church attack, which shocked France just days after the July 14 attack in Nice that left 84 people dead, “is an un-Islamic action that we naturally distance ourselves from,” Ahmad said. However, “if we get a request from the family to bury him, then we will do it… If they want to move his body here, he can be buried in Denmark in the Muslim cemetery,” he said. When contacted by AFP, the organisation declined to comment.
The group last year organised the burial of Danish-Palestinian militant gunman Omar El-Hussein, who killed a filmmaker outside a Copenhagen free speech event and a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue. “It is a support for the family, not for him,” Ahmad said at the time. Some 500 people attended Hussein’s funeral. Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group before they attacked the Normandy church during morning mass on July 26. Mohammed Karabila, who leads a French Muslim group, said his community would not give Kermiche a Muslim burial. “We will not taint Islam with this person,” he told AFP.