Nabil Absi, a French national, notes on his Facebook account that he was on a recent trip to Canada, visiting Montreal. During his time in Montreal, Absi decided to film multiple videos for his YouTube channel, where he has almost 300,000 subscribers on his channel.
One of the videos was recorded in Saint-Hubert, neighbouring the Paroisse Catholique Saint-Hubert, the local church. The video showed Absi wearing a loose robe with a prayer mat, asking the father if he could pray there because he wasn’t able to find a mosque. Without reacting, the father did accept, and Absi went to the front, removed his shoes, and started to pray to Allah while his friend recorded the entire scene in the background.
According to Father Edgar, everybody is welcome to pray in the church since it is a place of worship. Father Edgar wasn’t aware that everything was filmed, and he also mentioned that if he had known, he wouldn’t have allowed it, since permission is required by the church to film inside.
After some verification, three different Muslim places of worship were available around the area. it seems obvious that Nabil Absi wasn’t looking for a place to pray, but a chance to create content that provokes a reaction.
Pastor Carlos Norbal from the church Nouvelle Création mentioned that it is unequivocal that this man came in order to provoke.
"To have someone come right in front of other people practicing in another religion, it's a mark of disrespect to start with. And because of the way we operate here, anyone can come regardless of their convictions or their faith beliefs, as long as they respect the sanctity of what we're doing here," declared Pastor Norbal.
"But when someone comes up front and begins to disrupt the solemn aspect of worship as Christians, it is our duty to ask the person to displace himself and to respect the order of things in the way we do things at church, or else the person will be escorted out of the church," he added.
Reacting to the viral video, another Christian woman used a comparison.
"So I think it's not right because the reverse would not have been acceptable. If, with my Christian faith, I enter a mosque and say, 'Sorry, I can't find a church here. I want to say my prayer.' Already, as a woman, I have a place that I cannot just come in front of everyone, in front of the men. I wouldn't even be allowed," she points out.
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