MUSLIMS CONDEMN BARBARIC KILLINGS IN FRANCE BY AL-QAEDA ATTACKER
MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL (MPAC) STATEMENT
Earlier this morning, French authorities identified the suspect believed to have killed seven people in France over the past 10 days, including three children. The alleged shooter has been identified as Mohammed Merah by French media outlets. He is a self-proclaimed al-Qaeda member and has had a long criminal and extremist record, including an arrest for possible terrorist-related activities in Afghanistan.
“MPAC condemns these attacks in the strongest terms possible and is relieved that this criminal is no longer able to cause fear on the streets of France,” said Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC President. “We offer our condolences to the families victimized by this horrific act and call upon the people of France to come together and not allow their national resilience to be impacted by these acts of terror.”
The victims of the 10-day killing spree include at least three French Muslim paratroopers and four French Jews, three of whom were children ages 7 and younger. All seven victims were shot at very close range and directly to the head.
The fact that this tragedy took place in a religious institution and targeted children is even more disturbing. The sanctity of life and religious institutions is paramount in the principles espoused by the Quran.
French Muslim and Palestinian leaders have condemned the terrorist acts.
“These acts are in total contradiction with the foundations of this religion,” said Mohammed Moussaoui, President of the French Council of Muslim Faith. “France’s Muslims are offended by this claim of belonging to this religion.”
Meanwhile, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said, “It is time for these criminals to stop marketing their terrorist acts in the name of Palestine and to stop pretending to stand up for the rights of Palestinian children who only ask for a decent life.”
ISLAMIC NETWORKS GROUP (ING) STATEMENT
The recent killings in Toulouse, France are an atrocity of the highest order. Deliberately stalking, hunting, and shooting teachers and children is a crime that deserves nothing but the deepest condemnation. ING and its Affiliates join the rest of America in expressing our sorrow and sympathy to the victims, their families and friends, to the Jewish community, and to the nation of France. As American Muslims, we would like to express our outrage over these senseless killings.
We were horrified and saddened to learn that a French Muslim, Mohammed Merah, is alleged to be responsible for these attacks in France. The victims included three Jewish children and a teacher who were shot outside their Jewish school on Monday, as well as the previous murders of three paratroopers of North African origin (two Muslims and one Catholic).
Whatever the killer’s background and twisted ideology, we would like to take this opportunity to say: Not in our name. This massacre violates the clear commands against murder in all religions, including Islam. Islamic teachings, based on the Qur’an and other theological sources, condemn without exception this kind of deliberate killing of civilians. The basic tenets of Islam place infinite value on human life, security, and justice, all of which are contravened by these brutal and senseless acts of violence which serve no purpose but to fan the flames of hatred and more violence.
The right to life is a fundamental, universal imperative. The perpetrator of this deed betrayed his own humanity and stands condemned by all faith traditions.
We also hope that the senseless and savage action of one person does not in turn lead to the vilification of another minority group or a cycle of further conflict and violence; the demonization of any community for the actions of its members is itself an injustice. As President Nicolas Sarkozy emphasized after meeting with Jewish and Muslim leaders in Paris, “We must remain united. We should in no way yield to discrimination or vengeance.”
MUSLIM COUNCIL OF BRITAIN STATEMENT (MCB)
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is horrified at the two atrocities in Toulouse, France. The victims in these linked events were three paratroopers – two Muslims and one Catholic and at the Ozar Hatorah school, a rabbi, his two young sons and the head teacher’s seven-year-old daughter. A fourth youth was injured.
“While further information is awaited on the suspect(s), one thing is certain: that this was cold-blooded murder, crimes that we utterly condemn. The killing of innocent people is a crime against humanity and never condoned in our faith. Jews, Muslims and Christians were killed alike in France by a man whose only creed was hate and anger – he acted on behalf of no faith, no cause and no community” said Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the MCB, the largest representative body of Muslims in Britain.
He added, “We will be working with our counterparts in France and other faith communities to ensure that we remain united and resolved against such violence. This is the true spirit of our faith.” Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the victims and their families, to the Jewish, Muslim and other communities in France.
Having lived through 7/7 and its aftermath, the MCB hopes that the UK experience of the community, police and government working together to preserve harmony and understanding will also be adopted in France.
The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe condemns shootings http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2228274&language=en
Who Is Mohammed Merah? http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/21/world/europe/france-shooting-suspect-profile/index.html