The Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Wednesday condemned a terrorist attack in Paris that left 12 people dead and several others critically injured.
Gunmen shouting “God is Great” in Arabic (Allahu Akbar), and “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad,” fired dozens of rounds into the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing the editor, several well-known cartoonists and others, the BBC reported.
“I’m sickened and saddened by the news from Paris today,” said Adam Soltani, CAIR-Oklahoma executive director.
“These barbaric and inhumane criminals are not Muslim. They are the antithesis of everything that Islam teaches and represents.
“As an American Muslim I condemn these actions and offer my prayers and condolences to the victims and their families,” he said.
Soltani said that the people of Oklahoma, who suffered in the Murrah federal building bombing in Oklahoma City almost 20 years ago, can identify with the pain of those affected by the Paris attack.
He said that American Muslims support freedom of speech.
“People have every right to speak freely, write freely, publish freely,” he said.
Nothing the French magazine published could “justify any attack at all, and definitely not such a criminal action as what we saw today,” he said.
Muslim leaders in France said in a statement that the attack was barbaric, and an attack on democracy and the freedom of the press.
President Francois Hollande said it was a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity.”
The BBC said it was believed to be worst terrorist attack in France in more than a half century.
Charlie Hebdo’s irreverent take on the news has drawn death threats and an earlier attack. It was firebombed in 2011 after running a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.