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KAICIID Denounces Charlie Hebdo Attack, Condemns Violence in the Name of Religion

8 January 2015

KAICIID, the intergovernmental, interreligious dialogue organization, rejects violence in all its forms, especially any violence committed in the name of religion.

 

The KAICIID Board of Directors, consisting of representatives of major religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism), unanimously condemn the violence committed in Paris and extend their deepest condolences and sympathy to the victims’ families and communities.

Speaking on behalf of the Board, the Metropolitan of France and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, His Eminence Metropolitan Emmanuel, stated that “we, the Board of Directors of KAICIID, utterly denounce the brutal attack on the French newspaper ‘Charlie Hebdo’ that killed and injured innocent people”.

“In the wake of this tragedy, some are examining past immigration policies, assimilation challenges, or the radicalization of the nation’s youth. These are important questions to ask, however a more pressing reality is that violence is too prevalent. We must sound the alarm for peace before civilization deteriorates to further anarchy."

"There are so many major attacks in diverse places with such frequency that we are growing weary of hearing about more bloodshed. It is time to get serious about living in peace with those who differ from us. The world cannot sustain the path of destruction we are racing down with ever-increasing speed."

"Let us use this painful experience to motivate us to change direction. Let us seek justice for these heinous acts, and also let us relentlessly pursue peace through dialogue, understanding, and loving our neighbors as ourselves."

The KAICIID Board of Directors stands united in their defense of the freedom of expression, a basic and essential human right, which our societies exercise to consolidate the spirit of respect for each other in diversity. The Board Members also consider any crime committed in the name of religion to be a crime against religion.

KAICIID Secretary General Bin Muaammar emphasized that “dialogue is the best and only means we have to prevent further loss of innocent lives to the violence that misuses religion to mask hatred. Dialogue can dissolve distrust and protects against the social damage that fear and hatred cause. In the face of this unjustifiable tragedy we must continue to support dialogue and pluralism in society.”

In its November 2014 ‘Vienna Declaration’, KAICIID and many religious leaders from many different communities call upon all religious institutions and governments to actively work together to counter the narrative of those who commit acts of terrorism and bring them to justice.

KAICIID upholds the universal right to freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. And we recognize the need to respect all religions. To that end, KAICIID trains religious leaders and media professionals for greater mutual understanding on how to enhance the culture of interreligious and intercultural pluralism.

Through its training and publications, KAICIID seeks to address the misrepresentation of religion and religious people in the media and on the Internet while maintaining freedom of expression and the press.

KAICIID also calls upon international organizations, government agencies, religious institutions and civil society organizations in Europe to intensify their collaboration and dialogue to promote their capacity to counter such terrorist attacks and to protect social relations in our communities from these attacks’ negative repercussions.