FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One year later, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) solemnly remembers the 17 victims of the January 7 and 9, 2015 attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine and the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris.
“These attacks were egregious assaults on the freedom of religion or belief. The victims at Charlie Hebdo were killed because their attackers deemed them blasphemers, and those at the Hyper Cacher market were killed because they were Jews,” said USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George.
The January 2015 attacks occurred against the backdrop of a sharp increase in reports of violent anti-Semitic incidents in France, the home of Europe’s largest Jewish community, and other European countries in 2014. Following these attacks, there also has been a spike in reports of incidents of intolerance against Muslims – both European Muslims and Muslim refugees and migrants.
“As we mourn the victims of the more recent horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, we also remember those who were murdered one year ago. We remember these victims, condemn the attackers, and call on all Europeans of good will to unite against both the violent extremism and anti-Semitism that motivated these attacks and the backlash that has occurred in their wake against Muslims living or seeking refuge in Europe,” said Chairman George. “Ensuring religious freedom for all is a necessary predicate to secure and stable societies and an important bulwark against violent religious extremism.”
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