BRUSSELS – In a show of unity against terrorism, Belgian Muslim religious leaders have joined other faith groups in a cathedral service attended by Brussels bombing survivors and rescuers to mourn those killed in last week attack.
“Being invited to a place like the Brussels cathedral is symbolic for me,” Kamar Takkal, a member of the Muslim community, told Euro News on Tuesday, March 29.
“It means we are all together, whatever our beliefs, whatever our messages, we are united, hand in hand, in suffering,” she added.
Early Tuesday morning, March 22, two terrorist attacks ripped through Brussels, Belgium.
An explosion at the city’s main airport and at part of the Metro system left at least 26 people dead and 126 wounded.
Muslim organizations in Europe typically come out quickly to condemn terrorist attacks, fearing backlash.
The attacks were also condemned by Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious center of learning, as contradicting with Islamic teachings.
Attending the service with representative of Jewish community, religious leaders reflected on last week’s attacks, which killed 35 people.
Among attendants was Geoffroy Lemaitre who survived the airport blasts.
“I’m here for the others mostly, I’ve been saved, so I want to be here to support the others,” he said.
“I want us to be together, that’s the support I’ve received and I also want to give that to the others. So if I can do that, I will, with great pleasure.”
Belgian Muslims are estimated at 450,000 – out of a 10-million-population – about half of them are from Moroccan origin, while 120,000 are from Turkish origin.
More than 20 percent of the population of Brussels is of Muslim origin coming from Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other African countries.