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Muslims Condemn Charlie Hebdo Attack

Islamist leaders, Muslim scholars, and clerics have denounced the attack on the French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Middle Eastern leaders, Muslim scholars, and clerics have denounced the attack on the French weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo. Two armed gunmen, angered by the magazine’s satirical depictions of the Prophet Mohammed, stormed the magazine’s office on January 7, killing 12 people. Al Azhar, a center of Islamic learning in Cairo, rejected the attacks as a “criminal act” and stated that “Islam denounces any violence.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that “terrorism has no religion or nationality and no excuse can be given for it.” The following are excerpted statements by officials, clerics, and scholars condemning the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

Scholars and Clerics

Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Drancy mosque in Paris

"I am extremely angry. These are criminals, barbarians. They have sold their soul to hell.”

“This is not freedom. This is not Islam and I hope the French will come out united at the end of this.”
 – Jan. 7, 2015, in an interview

Al Azhar University in Egypt

The attack on Charlie Hebdo is a “criminal act.”

“Islam denounces any violence.”
 – Jan. 7, 2015 in a statement to Egypt’s MENA State News Agency

Al Azhar Undersecretary Abbas Shoman

Al Azhar “does not approve of using violence even if it was in response to an offence committed against sacred Muslim sentiments.”
 – Jan. 7, 2015, according to the press

Dr. Wael Shehab, who holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from Al Azhar University

“Muslim communities all over the world share the pains and sadness with the victims’ families and friends. Our hearts bleed for their loss and pains.”

“The deadly attack on the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which led to the killing and injuring of tens of innocents, is a horrible and barbaric crime that its perpetrators should be held accountable for it.”

“Such crimes against humanity are not justified in Islam or world faiths. Those criminals cannot be true believers of any faith.”

“Charlie Hebdo attacks are totally divorced from the teachings of Islam, its general spirit, and its sublime objectives.  Islam protects people’s lives, properties, and honor.”

“Attacking even a single human is regarded by Islam as grave and heinous as killing all innocent people of the world. The Qur’an reads, {Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 32)”
 – Jan. 7, 2015, in an interview with

Head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate Mehmet Gormez

"I see this attack not only (as an attack) against a magazine's employers, France, the West or Europe but against all faiths, all esteemed values and God's messages of mercy and grace conveyed by the prophet to humanity.”

"The brutal massacre of people is unacceptable. It is similarly unacceptable that they are carried out in the name of religion.”

"It is more painful that sacred values are disregarded, eminent concepts and values that belong to Islam are taken hostage."

"I believe that denigrating or insulting the values that make a person human - in the name of freedom of expression - is not correct." "When it is looked at by a different faith or culture, defamation - especially on the subject of faith - could become cultural torture.”
 – Jan. 9, 2015, according to the press

Sheikh Omar Suleiman, Director of the Islamic Learning Foundation

"What is more insulting to the Prophet (peace be upon him) than satirical cartoons are those who murder innocent people in his name."

“And We have sent you not (Oh Muhammad) but as a mercy to all the worlds” [Quran 21:107]
 – Jan. 7, 2015, on his Facebook page


Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF), which represents more than 250 Muslim organizations in France

“The UOIF condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this criminal attack and these horrible murders and offers its condolences to the families as well as the employees of Charlie Hebdo.”
 – Jan. 7, 2015, in a statement

French Council of the Muslim Faith

"The French Council of the Muslim Faith and the Muslims of France strongly condemn this violent terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo magazine. This barbarous act is also an attack on democracy and freedom of the press.

Our thoughts go out to victims and their familities, with whom we express complete solidarity in their terrible ordeal.

In an international context of political tensions fueled by terrorist groups unfairly taking advantage of Islam, we call upon all who are committed to the values of the Republic and democracy to avoid provocations that only throw fuel on the fire.

Faced with this drama on a national scale, we call on the Muslim community to be vigilant against manipulations from terrorist groups of any kind."
 – Jan. 7, 2015, in a statement

Muslim Council of Britain

We condemn the attack on #CharlieHebdo Whomever the attackers are, and whatever the cause may be, nothing justifies the taking of life

— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) January 7, 2015

Council on American-Islamic Relations

"We strongly condemn this brutal and cowardly attack and reiterate our repudiation of any such assault on freedom of speech, even speech that mocks faiths and religious figures. The proper response to such attacks on the freedoms we hold dear is not to vilify any faith, but instead to marginalize extremists of all backgrounds who seek to stifle freedom and to create or widen societal divisions."

"We offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed or injured in this attack. We also call for the swift apprehension of the perpetrators, who should be punished to the full extent of the law."
 – Jan. 7, 2015, in a statement

National Council of Canadian Muslims

"We are absolutely shocked and horrified by what happened. It is an absolute tragedy and it is a crime….We are shaken up by what happened in Paris today. Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and the injured. We are hoping that whoever did this – the perpetrators of this crime – are quickly brought to justice."
 – Jan. 8, 2015, in a statement

Government Officials

The Arab League

"Arab League chief Nabil al Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris."
 – Jan. 7, 2015, in a statement

Saudi Arabia

“The kingdom…strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs.”
 – Jan. 7, 2015, according to an official source quoted by the Saudi Press Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine was “a heinous terrorist attack.”

“We extend our condolences to our friend and ally France and expect the perpetrators to be brought to justice as soon as possible.”

"Turkey has fought and will continue to fight against all forms of terrorism with determination. We express our heart-felt condolences for the innocent people killed today and wish a quick recovery for the injured. We also wish patience and steadfastness to the relatives of the deceased and the injured and to the people of France.”

"On this occasion, we would like to stress that terrorism has no religion or nationality and no excuse can be given for it. It is of crucial importance that we have a common stance against terrorist attacks such as the one in Paris today. We have to take a firm stance against hate speech, intolerance to differences and attempts to present religious and cultural differences as ground for enmity.”
 – Jan. 7, 2015 in a statement

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI

“It was with deep sorrow and grief that I learned the sad news of the cowardly terrorist attack against the editorial office of the Charlie Hebdo weekly in Paris.”

The King condemned the “heinous act” and offered condolences to the French people.
 – Jan. 7, 2015 in a message to French President Francois Hollande

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

“Those who kill and carry out violent and extremist acts unjustly in the name of jihad, religion or Islam provoke Islamophobia whether they wish it or not.”

“We are very happy that Muslim people in the region from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine to Pakistan and Afghanistan resist extremism, violence and terrorism and achieve new victories on a daily basis.”
 – Jan. 9, 2015 in remarks to the International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran

Former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami

“I condemn in the strongest terms these attacks which are an example of the ominous and inhumane consequences of terrorism and extremism in the East and West. But the U.N., international organizations, governments, civic institutions, and the elite are expected to do more than mere condemnation.”

“Terrorism and violence are not a war between religion and freedom; they are not a conflict between the East and West; nor are they part of confrontation between religions, ethnicities and nations. They are a grave new threat that has multiple roots. They should be uprooted and the world should be pulled back from the brink of 'extremism.'”
Jan. 18, 2015 in a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon (translation via Iran Front Page)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi

"Terrorism is an international phenomenon that should be faced and terminated through joint international effort."
 – Jan. 8, 2015, in a message to French President Francois Hollande

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

"Egypt stands by France in confronting terrorism, an international phenomenon that targets the world's security and stability and which requires coordinated international efforts to eradicate."
 – Jan. 7, 2015, according to the press

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"The UAE strongly condemned the heinous terrorist act at the office of the French weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, in which scores of unarmed innocent civilians were killed and injured."

"Such appalling criminal acts require cooperation and solidarity at all levels to eradicate this menace which seeks to spread destruction, chaos and to destablize security and stability."
 – Jan. 7, 2015, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam

The attack was an "unacceptable and unjustifiable terrorist act."
 – Jan. 8, 2015, in a message to French President Francois Hollande

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri

"If what was attributed to eyewitnesses about the identity of the perpetrators is true, then those who use the name of the Holy Prophet as a means to ask for revenge and commit the most heinous acts, are a group of misguided people who do not only aim to harm Islamic-French relations, but also target Islam as a religion, values, education, and permanent calls for moderation, dialogue, and integration between religions."

"In all cases, the attack on the French capital is a clumsy stab that harms Islam and hundres of thousands of Muslims who have been living in France for decades, and benefiting from social, political, and human rights."
 – Jan. 8, 2015, according to the press

Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas

The attacks were a "heinous crime" that were "condemned by morality and religion."
 – Jan. 8, 2015 in a message to Francois Hollande

Qatar's Foreign Ministry

"These actions that target civilians contravene all values and principles, moral and humanitarian.”
 – Jan. 9, 2015, according to the press

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