Muslims in France have refused to bury one of the men who murdered an 85-year-old Catholic priest in his church last week.
Community leaders say they will not bury 19-year-old Adel Kermiche as they do not want to “taint Islam” with his crimes.
Kermiche pledged allegiance to Isis and was one of two who slit Fr Jacques Hamel’s throat during mass in his hometown in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy.
He was shot by police as he fled the church, after he and an accomplice killed the priest and tried to escape using nuns as human shields, Sky News reported.
“We’re not going to taint Islam with this person,” said Imam Mohammed Karabila, the president of the local Muslim cultural association to French newspaper Le Parisien.
“We won’t participate in preparing the body or the burial.”
One local Muslim, Khalid El Amrani, said Kermiche’s actions were “sinful” and “he is no longer part of the community," the Metro reported.
Sky News reported that Muslims in the town were supportive of the decision, which Amrani said was “normal” considering what Kermiche had done.
The final decision on whether Kermiche can be buried in the town is down to its mayor, Hubert Wulfranc.
Kermiche was wearing an electronic security tag when he entered the church with Abdel-Malik Petitjean, who was also 19.
Huguette Peron, said one of the men smiled after cutting the priest’s throat: “No smile of triumph but a sweet smile, the one of someone happy.”
Another, Hélène Decaux, is over 80 and asked if she could have her cane and sit down. The killers obliged.
One of the killers asked Decaux if she was familiar with the Koran. She answered: “Yes, I respect it as I respect the Bible, I have already read several suras, and what struck me in particular... are the passages on peace.”
She said the young man replied: “Peace is what we want. When you [go on] the television, you will tell your rulers as long as there are bombs on Syria, we will continue the attacks. And there will be daily. When you stop, we stop.”
“Are you afraid of dying?” the man then asked her. She replied: “ No... I believe in God and I know I’ll be happy”.
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