The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammed has expressed his profound condolences to Archbishop Fisher, and to the Catholic and Christian people of Australia, on the death of Fr Jacque Hamel, the 85-year-old French priest who was murdered last week while celebrating Mass in St Etienne-du-Rouvray, France.
The Mufti, along with senior Islamic leaders, visited the archbishop at St Mary’s Cathedral last week and said that the killing of a Catholic priest in a Catholic church was an evil act, equivalent to killing and Imam in a mosque.
Imams in Australia would tell their congregations that the attack was contrary to the teachings of Islam and was the work of fanatics who did not understand the faith they claimed to be dying for.
Dr Ibrahim said this attack represented an attack on all religions. He reported that Daesh had also been killing Muslim clerics and scholars in the Middle East who do not support their ideology, and threatening Islamic leaders as far away as Australia.
Archbishop Fisher said he hoped that this most recent attack did not represent a new attention-seeking strategy on the part of those who belong to, are directed by or are inspired by Daesh.
This attack, the archbishop said, was an attack on all priests, all congregations, all communities, all countries because its aim is to undermine people’s sense of security everywhere, freedom of religion everywhere, and our love of peace.
Archbishop Fisher and Dr Ibrahim both expressed their wish for calm and said it was a time for Christians and Muslims to be united.