ARAB LEAGUE, AL-AZHAR CONDEMN PARIS ATTACK

-Cairo, 17 Rabi’ul Awwal 1436/8 January 2015 (MINA) – The Arab League and Al-Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world’s premier Islamic institution, were among many Muslim countries and international organizations that strongly condemned Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack on the office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

“Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris,” the League said after gunmen stormed the weekly’s offices killing at least 12 people.

Al-Azhar, a thousand-year-old seat of religious learning respected by Muslims around the world, referred to the attack as a criminal act, saying that “Islam denounces any violence”, in remarks carried by Egypt’s state news agency MENA.

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Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, have condemned the Paris newspaper attack. Saudi Arabia described it as a “cowardly terrorist act which Islam as well as other religions reject,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted an official source as saying.

“Saudi Arabia denounces this cowardly terrorist act which Islam as well as other religions reject. Saudi Arabia offers its condolences to the families of the victims as well as the government and people of the French republic and wishes a speedy recovery for the wounded,” the official said.

Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam  condemned the shooting and sent his condolences to the French leader and the families of the victims. Also, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri denounced the assult, saying: “the attack on the French capital is a clumsy stab that harms Islam and hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have been living in France for decades.

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France’s Muslim leadership sharply condemned the shooting as a “barbaric” attack and an assault on press freedom and democracy. “This extremely grave barbaric action is also an attack against democracy and the freedom of the press,” the French Muslim Council (CFCM) said in a statement.

The body represents France’s Muslim community, which is Europe’s biggest and estimated to number between 3.5 million and five million people. (T/P007/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)