Terrorist attacks in Paris, France have left over 127 people dead and over a hundred injured. The attacks were carried out in places where large numbers of people were gathered: a football stadium, a concert venue, restaurants etc. Responsibility for the attacks has now reportedly been claimed by the so-called ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), a terrorist organization which seeks to manipulate religion to justify its violence and oppression of innocents.
The multi-religious Board of Directors of KAICIID, comprising leading representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, released the following statement in response to these horrific attacks.
“We, the multireligious Board of Directors of the International Dialogue Centre, KAICIID, are deeply shocked and mourn the despicable, deliberate murder by terrorists of over 100 innocent victims in Paris on the evening of 13 November 2015.
We offer our prayers for the victims and our sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones in these attacks. In the face of this brutal violence, we call upon all peace loving people to set aside fear, to stand together and to condemn violence in the name of any religion. When we, the followers of all religions and people of all cultures, raise our voices together, we can defend our common humanity. These attacks cannot divide us.
No religion condones prejudice, violence or terrorism; all religions seek peaceful coexistence. In response to violence, responsible people of peace must act together in all their diversity to combat prejudice, hate speech and the incitement to violence.
In our solidarity we reaffirm our pledge to promote mutual respect and understanding among peoples of different religions and cultures, and utterly reject terrorism and the manipulation of religious belief to foster hatred and justify violence.”
The KAICIID Board of Directors consists of representatives of five world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. KAICIID reaffirms the universal right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and expression. KAICIID calls upon all to respect all religions. Religion is an enabler of respect and reconciliation. KAICIID acts as a hub, facilitating interreligious and intercultural dialogue and understanding, to enhance cooperation and respect for diversity, justice and peace. The Centre provides leadership and programming to promote peace. It also serves as a worldwide platform for followers of different religions and cultures to foster cooperation and understanding. KAICIID is committed to working with those who use interreligious dialogue to build peace.
More information on the Board, along with their individual biographies, is available at: http://www.kaiciid.org/who-we-are/governance