WASHINGTON – Following the tragic terrorist attack in Paris, Rabbi Jack Moline, execuitve director of Interfaith Alliance, released this statement:

“I am heartbroken to fulfill this sad duty once again — to share our sympathies and prayers with the families, friends and fellow citizens of the victims of the unconscionable terrorist attacks in Paris. There is no religious justification for these crimes and Interfaith Alliance joins with those from all communities who repudiate the culture of political violence masquerading as piety.

“We applaud the work of security services in France and around the world who seek to protect innocent life while preserving individual freedom.  It is a task fraught with hazards, and it is too often thankless.  Free societies face the challenge of balancing civil rights with civil order. We at Interfaith Alliance continue to support those efforts in the United States.

“The objective of any terrorist is to strike fear into the hearts of innocent citizens and provoke them into betraying their peaceful inclinations.  Already we are seeing some public figures exploiting the understandable distress of Americans by calling for discriminatory policies against those fleeing terrorist oppression, exacerbating violence by promoting vigilantism in the guise of “self defense” and repeating slanderous generalizations about faith communities and nationalities.  

“We must hold fast to our American values and not give into the specious reasoning born of fear.  Only those who do not believe in the inherent strength of our unalienable rights will choose to rely on a version of the terrorism they seek to defeat. No defense strategy is foolproof, but extreme reactionism is unquestionably for fools.

“Religious faith and moral philosophies have the capacity to heal a broken world.  May all those of good will join in support of the citizens of France and peace-loving people in every corner of our world.”

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.