The founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in West Los Angeles said Friday Islamic clergy around the world have not been loud enough in their condemnation of the deadly violence in France, saying a strong anti-terrorism message needs to be sent to the Muslim community.

“We should not allow clergy to remain on the 50-yard line and not weigh in on the question that affects human civilization,” Rabbi Marvin Hier said.

Hier and Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said Islamic leaders must “go on the offensive” against terrorists who commit murder in the name of religion.

Shimon Samuels, the center’s Paris-based director for international relations, said the crime scenes in Paris “are out of a war movie.”

“A culture of excuse exonerates the perpetrators as ‘disaffected, alienated, frustrated, unemployed,”‘ Samuels said. “No other group of frustrated unemployed has resorted to such behavior. Until politicians and media define the problem as Jihadism, remote-controlled from mosques in France and not only the Middle East, the cancer will not be isolated and destroyed.”

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is based in Anaheim and Washington, D.C., strongly condemned the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine this week, calling it a “brutal and cowardly” assault on freedom of speech, “even speech that mocks faiths and religious figures.”

“The proper response to such attacks on the freedoms we hold dear is not to vilify any faith, but instead to marginalize extremists of all backgrounds who seek to stifle freedom and to create or widen societal divisions,” Awad said.

City News Service

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