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Muslim tour bus visits towns hit by terror attacks

A group of around 30 representatives for the Muslim community boarded a coach in the Champs-Elysées on Saturday that will pass through towns hit by Islamist attacks

The seven-day “Muslims against terrorism” tour will pass through several Belgian, German and French cities, arriving at its final stop in Paris on Friday June 14. 

The group will make a stop on July 11 in Saint-Etienne du Rouvray, where priest Jacques Hamel was murdered on July 26 last year. They will also stop at Montauban, where an attack took place in 2012 against a Jewish school, and in Nice, where last year 86 people were killed when a truck drove into a crowd.

The tour has been organised by Hassan Chalghoumi, the imam of Drancy in the north Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, and the Jewish writer Marek Halter, and brings together a mix of academics and imams.

“We can’t just sit around with our arms crossed, we have to let people know they should not be afraid of us. We should have done this sooner”, Bouna Djakabi, the imam of the Epinay-sur-Seine mosque, told francetvinfo.

Mr Chalghoumi has been criticised by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) for his openness to the media. The council spurned the “Muslims against terrorism” tour and there were no Muslim supporters present to see the bus off.

The CFCM has also been critical of Mr Chalghoumi’s close relationship with Jewish leaders. Mr Chalghoumi declined to comment.

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