Muslim leaders did not hesitate to condemn the execution of American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2013. The ISIS has claimed responsibility for his murder.
“The Muslims of France wholeheartedly condemn such barbaric acts which create horror and astonishment and ask that nations unite to eradicate these deadly abuses which misrepresent the Muslim religion,” stated Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith.
“The misguided interpretation of the Coran by terrorist groups distances them from the message of the Prophet of Islam and excludes them from the community of believers,” he added.
Mohammad Moussaoui, president of the Union of French Mosques stated that “the organization known as the Islamic State, which is neither a state nor Islamic,” was nothing more than “a bunch of bloodthirsty terrorists.”
July 8, 2014
Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve recently spoke at a meal breaking the fast during the month of Ramadan. “The French government will demonstrate a complete steadfastness toward those who attack your community,” he affirmed in a speech before several Arab diplomats and religious leaders, including the ambassadors to Algeria and France.
Cazeneuve warned that anyone who attacked a Frenchman for his religious beliefs would be “ruthlessly pursued, arrested and punished.”He condemned acts of discrimination and violence towards Muslims and stated, “To associate Islam with violence, is not only wishing to pit Frenchmen against one another, it’s to profoundly misunderstand Islam and religion.” His statement reaffirmed that of Francois Hollande, whose recent speech highlighted the fact that Islam and democracy are compatible.
Dalil Boubekeur was “touched” by Cazeneuve’s speech. “His commitment to make France, Muslims and non Muslims and all its citizens, a peaceful country and one of tolerance, really pleased me.” According to recently released figures, France’s Muslim population is currently between 5.5 and 6 million.