The EMB (Muslim Executive of Belgium) “denounces in the strongest terms” the attack perpetrated on Wednesday against the weekly Charlie Hebdo, calling it an “attempt on life, and on freedom of speech, which is one of the pillars of our democracy,” in its press release on Thursday. “The EMB calls for all Muslim representatives in the community (imams, mosque representatives, organisations, Muslim councils, professors of Islam…) to issue a strong condemnation of violence and terrorism of every sort, and to push for peaceful discussion which respects democratic values,” it adds.
The institution officially representing Islam also invites “the media and citizens in all their diversity, to disprove the theories encouraging people to point the finger.” It urges “individuals to fight against any confusion between people who commit terrorist acts supposedly in the name of Islam, and Muslim citizens who firmly reject violence and strive to live in a peaceful and tolerant world.”
The Diyanet of Belgium, a network of mosques involved in managing Turkish religious affairs, also “strongly condemns this horrific and inhuman attack,” as expressed in a press release. “For us this terrorist act is an attack on not just all of humankind, but also and specifically on the values and teachings of Islam itself.”
For the network, the attack is “a very provocative act” in the context of rising islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism. “We wish to firmly reiterate that terrorism and violence have no religion, no race and no nationality,” they insist.
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Belgium also wished to denounce “this heinous crime which is completely contrary to Muslim and human values.”
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)