Hundreds of French Muslims gather outside the Grand Mosque of Paris to denounce the beheading of a fellow citizen in Algeria at the hands of Islamic State militants. Mana Rabiee reports.
A moment of silence outside the Grand Mosque of Paris. Hundreds of French Muslims gathered to denounce the beheading of a fellow citizen in Algeria at the hands of militants. His captors released video on Wednesday, saying 55-year old Herve Gourdel was killed in response to French strikes against Islamic State fighters. (SOUNDBITE) (French) GRAND MOSQUE OF PARIS IMAM WHO DECLINED TO BE NAMED SAYING: "They can, in no way, speak in my name. They can, in no way, speak in the name of Islam, and they can, in no way, speak in the name of Allah." (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH MUSLIM RABIA ASLOUM SAYING: "These people want to sully the image of Islam. Quite simply, they want to divide the French people, but they won't achieve that." Some five million Muslims live in France - the largest Muslim population in Europe. Some on the French right complain the community hasn't strongly condemned Gourdel's murder, a charge its leaders reject. (SOUNDBITE) (French) HEAD OF THE FRENCH OBSERVATORY OF ISLAMOPHOBIA ABDALLAH ZEKRI SAYING: "I hear some politicians pointing at Islam -- I came (here) through solidarity, I didn't come to justify myself, nor ask for forgiveness for other people's doings." Similar gatherings were planned in other French cities. They come as France steps up security on transport and public places. France was the first Western country to join U.S.-led strikes on IS targets in Iraq and the militant group has specifically urged its followers to attack French citizens.