French imams rail against ‘crazies who have seized our religion’

French imams condemn the violence committed in the name of Islam during Friday prayers as the country reels from the double hostage dramas that followed the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine on Wednesday

The same message — distancing the country’s five million Muslims from the jihadists responsible for the attacks — was relayed at more than 2,300 mosques across France.

“We denounce the odious crimes committed by the terrorists, whose criminal action endangers our willingness to live together,” says the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur.

He also appeals to “all the Muslims of France” to take part in demonstrations planned for Sunday to pay homage to the 12 victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the bloodiest in France in more than half a century.

Muslim theologian Tareq Oubrou, an imam in Bordeaux, in the southwest, said Muslims were furious that their religion had been “confiscated by crazies… and uneducated, unbalanced people”.