The following statement has been issued by Dr Scott Peddie, chairman of the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum:
The committee of the Northern Ireland Inter-Faith Forum joins with the Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs of the Inter-Faith Network for the UK in expressing our profound shock and sadness at the recent appalling attacks in Norway. We join with our Inter-Faith colleagues across the UK in offering our deepest sympathy and prayers to all affected.
As the recently released statement from the Inter Faith Network for the UK(http://www.interfaith.org.uk/) states: ‘The individual arrested and charged in the wake of these terrorist acts has offered a rationale rooted in opposition to multiculturalism and to the presence of Islam in Europe. He has claimed a justification based, in part, on what he sees as Christian belief. Where terrorists justify their actions with reference to positions which they call religious, this reflects ignorance and breeds suspicion and mistrust. This has a direct relevance for all those working for good inter-faith relations’.
They go on to point out that ‘We are very much aware that religious teachings – of any tradition – can be distorted and used as justification for brutal acts of violence that have no place in any society, nor any true foundation in any faith tradition’.
In Northern Ireland, as with the rest of the UK, people of different faiths co-exist as part of one society. The NI Inter-Faith Forum, together with all people of goodwill, is committed to building on our shared values in order to strengthen our society for the benefit of all.
Rev. Dr. Scott Peddie FRSA
Dr Peddie can be contacted at:
Mobile: 07738 685801