DRANCY, France (AP) — Dozens of French imams have visited a Holocaust memorial in Drancy in an effort to show that Islam is a tolerant religion.

The Muslim leaders, who traveled from all over France, gathered Monday night at the site of the former detention camp where around 65,000 Jews were held before being deported to extermination camps, mainly to Auschwitz, during World War II.

The event, the first of its kind since the Drancy memorial opened last September, was attended by Interior Minister Manuel Valls who said it “shows that dialogue, tolerance and the understanding of other religions is indispensable in fighting against anti-Semitism and fanaticism.”

Some imams present traveled to Israel last year to pray at the tomb of the Jewish children gunned down in Toulouse last March by Mohamed Merah.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.