The devastating attacks in France recently are heart-wrenching and devastating.  And it’s particularly awful that anyone could claim their faith made them do it.  My heart goes out to all those suffering loss and pain because of this truly senseless tragedy.

Two friends of mine made statements earlier this week, speaking for millions of their fellow Muslims – decrying the heartless violence and commiserating with all those affected by the terrible events.

From my friend Mohammed Mehtar, Imam of Khadeeja Mosque in Salt Lake City, Utah –

The Value of Humanity

The past week has seen the world victimized by the actions of people whose mindsets are beyond the understanding of peace-loving peoples of all faiths.  We offer our heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones in the senseless tragedies that occurred in Paris this week, as well as to those who lost loved ones in Beirut and elsewhere.  Tragic, senseless violence recognizes no borders, and takes innocent victims without regard for distinctions such as race, gender, or religion.  As Muslims, it is with dread and despair that we see people who align themselves to us in faith commit such acts of soul-crushing violence.

As Muslims, we are all deeply aware of the injunction in our Holy Book, the Qur’an, that urges us to be mindful of the value of human life:  “if any one slew a person unjustly, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.  [Verse 5:32]”  With this as our firm and unerring guideline, we absolutely condemn violence perpetrated upon humanity, and recognize that Islam is unequivocal in its respect for humanity and peace.

It is our most sincere prayer that cycles of violence come to an end.  Violence and hatred is eating nations and peoples up alive, and the path to peace cannot be paved with blood.  We hope for wisdom and love for humanity to prevail upon all people, so that we may all know the blessings of harmony.

And from my friend Pres. Coskun Kariparduc of Pacifica Institute Utah

Pacifica Institute strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Paris.  We stand united with the people of France and with people around the world in mourning the loss of innocent lives and offering our deepest condolences to the families.

We honor the victims by strengthening our commitment to peace, tolerance and mutual respect.