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Thousands of Muslims march for slain French police officers

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Thousands of Muslims march for slain French police officers
The Muslim community march in honour of slain police officers. Photo: AFP
09:32 CEST+02:00
Several thousand members of the Muslim community marched on Sunday in memory of the police officer and his partner who were brutally murdered by an Islamist extremist last week.

Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his partner Jessica Schneider, a police official, were both stabbed to death at their home not far from Paris, by jihadist Larossi Abballa.

On Sunday members of the Muslim community in Mantes-La-Jolie, the town where both victims had worked, held a march on honour the murdered couple.

Wreaths were laid outside the police station before a minute's silence was held. The marchers then applauded the memory of the two police officers who were slain.

“We are facing a crime, committed by a criminal who is neither religious nor intellectual, that is based on pure stupidity,” said Abdelaziz El Jaouhari, president of the local mosque.

“The politicians alone do not have the solutions, nor do the Muslim community, but together maybe we can find one to stop this vicious cycle,” he added.

“The march is to say that the Muslim community has no responsibility for the crime and the barbaric acts by terrorists it feels it has a duty to condemn and to take action against them,” El Jaouhari added.

The banner at the front of the march had the slogan “Je Suis la Police”, a take on the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan of solidarity that was born out of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

It also included the words “Let us mobilize against barbarity”.

One marcher named Imane Remina, aged 18, told Le Parisian: “By doing this we show we are united against terrorists, these monsters who just want blood at any cost.”

Mohammed Bouaalal, a shopkeeper from a neighbouring town came to the demonstration with his daughters to show that “Muslims in France have absolutely nothing to do with these criminals.”

“Today they attack police, but tomorrow it could be us, the Muslims, who they target, as we have seen in Egypt or Yemen. Because in their eyes we are traitors who do not have the same vision of the world.”

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