Humanist Chaplains Mary Beaty and Gail McCabe also condemn the violence in Alexandria, and we offer our condolences to the victims, and our hope for tolerance and peace. We also reaffirm our support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 18 and 19:
* Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
* Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
* * * * * * * *PRESS RELEASE OF THE CANADIAN COUNCIL OF IMAMS:
On behalf of the Canadian Council of Imams, we would like to express our deepest shock and disgust at the Bombings of the Church in Alexandria, Egypt, on the eve of the festive season. Our sympathy goes to the families of the victims in Egypt as well as in Canada. By the present, we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Canadian Coptic community members and assure them that the Canadian Muslims stand by their side in these difficult times.
"It is a big shame and an intolerable madness to attack people in the middle of their highest season of worship." said Imam Dr. Hamid Slimi, the chairman of the council, "The attackers do not represent any religion or faith but only a blind hate for anyone who is different from them. They want to create fear and instability in the country. Egyptian Coptic Christians have been living in Egypt thousands of years and they should not be treated with discrimination or in any way that shakes their peace and stability or restricts their religious freedom."
Imam Abdul Hai Patel, the Interfaith relations director in the council added, "It is the duty of the Egyptian Government to immediately curb the violence and bring the perpetrators of such malicious acts to justice. The council calls the Egyptian government to institute strong practical measures to protect its Christian Citizens and any other minorities in the Country."
By the same token, we also urge the Egyptian and global Islamic leadership in the World to promote tolerance and respect to our Christian and human brethren around the World and to educate and remind the masses about our relationship through our humanity and Abrahamic ties.
We, the members of religious leadership of Canadian Muslims, strongly condemn these terrorist and cowardly acts, resulting in loss of many innocent lives and injuring hundreds of others. We join the international community in grieving this tragedy and strongly protest against the mistreatment of minorities anywhere in the world including in the Muslim countries.
Imam Dr. Hamid Slimi, Chairman
Imam Dr. Abdul Hai Patel, Director Interfaith Relations, 416-282-4342