Al-Liqa’ Center for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land

Condemnation Statement:
In response to the criminal and brutal attack

Your Excellency Jens Stoltberg Prime Minister Of Norway,
H.E. Mr. Svein Sevje, Ambassador, Tel Aviv
Head of the Representative Office of Norway to the Palestinian Authority

Dear Brothers and sisters,

We were shocked at Al-Liqa’ Centre for Religious and Heritage Studies in the Holy Land at hearing about the criminal and brutal attack by Anders Behring Breivik on Friday July 22, 2011 where more than ninety innocent Norwegians fell victims most of them young men and women who used to work hard   and aspire to a good future with all members of the international community filled with peace, security and safety.

We at Al-Liqa’ Centre, Christians and Muslims, strongly condemn this terrorist act and condemn any resort to violence believing that such acts are inconsistent with our human values and religious teachings that call us to love and respect each other  instead of hating and humiliating the other. The Most High God commands us in his Heavenly Books to keep away from using force or acts of violence and killing. And in the Holy Bible, He commands us “not to kill”. In the Holy Qur’an, God says to us: “If anyone slew a person –unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land-it would be as if he slew the whole people.” (Surat Al- Ma’ida: 31)

Therefore violence cannot be justified from the human and religious viewpoint. He who acts like that is mainly motivated by blind hatred and hateful grudge and is completely devoid of moral and human values.

We at Al-Liqa’ Centre highly appreciate and respect the attitude of Norway, government, church and people towards the issues of justice and peace and appreciate your positive attitude towards issues of dialogue between religions and cultures. We had a rich and constructive experience when a delegation from our Centre was invited to attend the Nobel Prize Peace Celebration in 1994 through the help and support of the Norwegian government and a number of church institutions. On that occasion, a study day was organized on “The Role of Religion in Peace Making” with the participation of representatives of the three heavenly religions.

Unfortunately, the grudge that the attacker bears and his abominable act are the result of his aggressive cultural background towards others and Moslems in particular. A matter that does not correspond with the human values and religious teachings and completely contradicts with the policy of openness and dialogue that the State of Norway believes in and practices.

Accordingly, we at Al-Liqa Centre, Christians and Muslims, would like to assure you of our love and support  to the policy of openness and dialogue and we are ready to cooperate with you and with your religious and civil institutions in the field of dialogue between religions and cultures of which we  have a long experience that exceeds thirty years.

Again we denounce this barbaric action and wish all the wounded a speedy recovery and pray to the  Almighty  God to rest the souls of the victims in peace and give patience to their families and deliberation and wisdom to the government and people of Norway to find suitable ways to put an end to  such brutal acts and encourage the responsible people in the institutions in general and  the educational ones in particular to spread the message of  tolerance and shared living and the need to respect and accept the other and preserve the human dignity.

Date 28 July 2011

Al-Liqa' Center