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Jakarta Post

Religious leaders condemn Paris attacks, demand justice

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, November 16, 2015   /  05:10 pm
Religious leaders condemn Paris attacks, demand justice In mourning: A student takes a picture of an announcement at the entrance of the French cultural center, the Institut Francais Indonesia, on Sunday in Jakarta. The center announced that it will be closed until Nov. 17 to mourn the 129 lives lost in the recent Paris attacks.(JP/DON) (JP/DON)

In mourning: A student takes a picture of an announcement at the entrance of the French cultural center, the Institut Francais Indonesia, on Sunday in Jakarta. The center announced that it will be closed until Nov. 17 to mourn the 129 lives lost in the recent Paris attacks.(JP/DON)

The country'€™s religious leaders have condemned a series of coordinated terrorist attacks that left more than 120 people dead in Paris on Friday.

Haedar Nashir, the chairman of the second-largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah, said that the attacks were '€œinexcusable'€ and that all religious groups must join hands to condemn them.

'€œNo form of violence can be tolerated. Allah'€™s message was extremely clear: Taking the life of one person is the same as taking the life of all of mankind. Whoever saves one soul has saved all of mankind,'€ he said on Sunday.

Haedar, on behalf of Muhammadiyah, offered his condolences to the victims and their families. He also denied that the attacks, for which militant group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility, were representative of Islam and its followers.

'€œI am not responsible for any groups behind this incident, especially those who claim to act in the name of Islam; they do not represent Islam. Islam does not teach violence or brutality,'€ he said, adding that he hoped no innocent Muslims would be attacked in the wake of the incident.

According to Reuters, French Police have identified one of the assailants in the coordinated attacks as Ismael Omar Mostefai, a 29-year-old French national. The suspect, allegedly one of the gunmen who blew himself up at a Paris concert hall, had previous arrest records for petty crimes and is suspected to have lived in Syria, where IS is heavily present, between 2013 and 2014.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said that the current investigation had led police to suspect that three coordinated teams had carried out the attacks, which have been described as the worst in Paris since World War II.

French President Francois Hollande has described the attacks as an '€œact of war'€.

Masdar Farid Mas'€™udi of the central board of Indonesia'€™s largest Islamic organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, also denied that such acts of terrorism were based on any Islamic teachings, arguing that the religion was essentially peaceful.

'€œThese acts of terrorism have tainted Islam'€™s image when Islam, as we know, is based on peace. Peace is a theme found throughout the teachings of Islam,'€ he told The Jakarta Post.

'€œThis is serious; it has made Islam look bloodthirsty, even though it is not at all.'€

Separately, the secretary-general of the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI), Gomar Gultom, also offered his condolences.

'€œWe truly regret what has happened and we offer our deepest condolences. The Communion of Churches perceives life as something that must be maintained and protected and we condemn these terror attacks, no matter what their cause,'€ he told the Post.

Gomar said that religious groups all over the world must work together to demand justice for the killings. He called, however, on the world community to maintain its values of peace in the face of major provocation.

'€œThere can truly be no peace without justice. This applies not only across the globe, but also in each country,'€ he said.
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