The European Council of Religious Leaders ECRL is appalled and shocked by this horrific and indefensible obscene attack on those who promote free speech. The freedom of speech offers all an opportunity to resolve disputes and disagreements without violence.

ECRL condemn without reservation this extreme violent act, especially if the perpetrators claim to be protecting the honour of their religion or their religious values. This act of terrorism is an attack on humanity itself.

“As an European Interreligious Council we reject categorically all forms of violent religious extremism and its purported justification. Respectful of our religions differences we will go on testifying strong multi-religious cooperation in acting together for peace and liberty” says Thomas Wipf, Moderator of ECRL.

Jehangir Sarosh, Secretary General, stated; “In all religious traditions the concept of human dignity demands responsibility from its believers to the Divine and other human beings and forms the ground for freedom and co-existence”.

The European Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ECRL) brings together senior religious leaders from Europe’s historical religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam together with Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Zoroastrians. ECRL has participatory status with the Council of Europe. ECRL is one of five regional Interreligious Councils with the Religions for Peace network. Religions for Peace – accredited to the United Nations – is the world’s largest and most representative multi-religious coalition advancing common action for peace since 1970.