March 21, 2012: ING Statement on the Recent Killings in France

The recent killings in Toulouse, France are an atrocity of the highest order. Deliberately stalking, hunting, and shooting teachers and children is a crime that deserves nothing but the deepest condemnation. ING and its Affiliates join the rest of America in expressing our sorrow and sympathy to the victims, their families and friends, to the Jewish community, and to the nation of France. As American Muslims, we would like to express our outrage over these senseless killings.

We were horrified and saddened to learn that a French Muslim, Mohammed Merah, is alleged to be responsible for these attacks in France. The victims included three Jewish children and a teacher who were shot outside their Jewish school on Monday, as well as the previous murders of three paratroopers of North African origin (two Muslims and one Catholic).
Whatever the killer’s background and twisted ideology, we would like to take this opportunity to say:  Not in our name. This massacre violates the clear commands against murder in all religions, including Islam. Islamic teachings, based on the Qur’an and other theological sources, condemn without exception this kind of deliberate killing of civilians. The basic tenets of Islam place infinite value on human life, security, and justice, all of which are contravened by these brutal and senseless acts of violence which serve no purpose but to fan the flames of hatred and more violence.

The right to life is a fundamental, universal imperative. The perpetrator of this deed betrayed his own humanity and stands condemned by all faith traditions.

We also hope that the senseless and savage action of one person does not in turn lead to the vilification of another minority group or a cycle of further conflict and violence; the demonization of any community for the actions of its members is itself an injustice. As President Nicolas Sarkozy emphasized after meeting with Jewish and Muslim leaders in Paris, “We must remain united. We should in no way yield to discrimination or vengeance.”