Le Figaro: Islamists Attacked a Catholic march near Paris, shouting: "This is not your Home!”
A group of Catholics was attacked and subjected to brutal, anti-Christian verbal insults in a Paris suburb last Wednesday during a torchlight procession to celebrate the Pure Conception of the Virgin Mary.
The Marian march, held in Nanterre by a group of thirty Catholics, was interrupted at the first prayer station when a group of Islamists began insulting and threatening the participants, Le Figaro reported.
The dozen Islamists involved in the attack called the marchers "kafirs," an Arabic term meaning "infidels," and shouted "I swear in the Qur'an that I will cut your throat" in the direction of the priest who led the group.
"Then they threw water at us, then they grabbed one of the torches, which they then threw in our direction," Jean-Marc Certilange, permanent deacon at Saint-Marie-de-Fontanel, told the Paris-based newspaper.
The words "this is not your home" have also been heard, shouted by Islamist attackers. The Islamist group, which reportedly had three leaders, managed to escape before police arrived. After authorities determined the route was safe, the march resumed immediately, but without further prayer stops.
After hearing about the incident, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin spoke on social media on Saturday to express his support for Catholics across France and condemn the attack, calling the actions "unacceptable".
"Freedom of religion must be able to be exercised in complete peace in our country. Support for Catholics in France," Darmanin wrote. The next day, Deputy Prosecutor Carolyn Gontran announced that Nanterre's prosecutor's office had launched an investigation into the case. A statement describing the events of the incident was also published on the official social media of the diocese of Nanterre.
The incident comes amid an apparently growing boom in anti-Catholic sentiment in France and Western Europe. Inevitably, the attack not only evokes memories of the martyrdom of Father Jacques Amel, an 86-year-old priest whose throat was cut by Islamic State militants in 2016 while serving a liturgy in Normandy but also of the three Catholic parishioners who were stabbed to death by Islamist terrorists at Notre Dame Cathedral in Nice in 2020
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