Muslims are just as upset by the Notre-Dame disaster as anyone in France, says Kabtane.
Rabat – The president of the Council of Mosques of the Rhone, Kamel Kabtane, called on French Muslims to “stand in solidarity with their country” following the devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Kabtane, who is also a leader at the Grand Mosque of Lyon, spoke on Tuesday about the tragic event, promising his support to any future rebuilding efforts and calling all Muslims in France to do the same.
“We call on Muslims in France to show their solidarity by actively participating in the national solidarity campaign that will be launched to find ways to rebuild this place of history of our country and this place of prayer so dear to our Christian brothers.”
Notre-Dame, one of Paris’s most symbolic monuments, caught on fire late Monday. Firefighters did not fully extinguish the flames until 15 hours later, in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The fire caused the building’s spire to collapse and destroyed the roof. Firefighters were able to save the main stone structure and the building’s iconic bell towers.
Notre-Dame, “in addition to being a place of worship, is the soul of our country. It is in this place that the French came to celebrate the happiest moments of their history,” said Kabtane.
The cause of the fire is not yet clear although many believe it was an accident connected to ongoing renovation at the cathedral.
The incident generated worldwide solidarity as thousands posted emotional tributes to the cathedral on social media. Within hours of the fire starting, there were dedications of money to rebuild from people around the world who feel connected to Notre-Dame and all it stands for.
French President Emmanuel Macron made a promise to reconstruct the cathedral on Monday, even before the fire had been put out.