Confusion Over Muslim in Church Leads to Armed Police Response in France

Rabat – The decision of a Muslim to pray in the Romanesque church in the Basilica of Ainay in Lyon, France, during mass caused panic and frustration among French police. French news outlet Le Monde reported on Wednesday that “fear and misunderstandings” emerged after the individual carrying a backpack decided to perform prayers in the […] The post Confusion Over Muslim in Church Leads to Armed Police Response in France appeared first on Morocco World News.

Rabat – The decision of a Muslim to pray in the Romanesque church in the Basilica of Ainay in Lyon, France, during mass caused panic and frustration among French police.

French news outlet Le Monde reported on Wednesday that “fear and misunderstandings” emerged after the individual carrying a backpack decided to perform prayers in the small church during mass.

A churchgoer noticed the Muslim man, sitting in the front row of the church and invited him to sit at the back.

Following the mass, the churchgoer said he heard him saying “Allah Akbar” (God is great) while making eye contact.

Le Monde said that the situation was not “downright threatening, but disturbing enough to warn the police.”

The decision frustrated many in France who mobilized anti-terror intervention, 13 police officers from the anti-crime brigade, pistols, and assault rifles.

Police arrested the man, 44, who turned out to be “a harmless marginal,” for praying in the church and for saying Allah Akbar “in a threatening tone,” Le Monde said.

Preliminary investigations show that the man, with no criminal record, is not linked to any radicalized groups.

Searches in his house only found “a Quran and an unconnected computer in his house in Villeurbanne,” Le Monde said.

The news outlet said he appeared for a hearing on May 11 for “violence, contempt, and rebellion.”

During his statement, the man argued that he comes to the region in Lyon where he likes to “meditate and pray.”

His lawyer condemned his arrest, finding it dramatic as the Muslim man only performed his “Muslim prayer in a church.”

In response, the lawyer of security services in the area argued that “the situation was extremely worrying.

“We can imagine the fear of families, but nothing can be left to chance in such a case. Their professionalism made it possible to freeze things quickly, the slightest wrong move could have triggered a tragedy,” the lawyer said.

The post Confusion Over Muslim in Church Leads to Armed Police Response in France appeared first on Morocco World News.