Attacks in Brussels and Lahore: Note of FOB Board of Directors

28 March 2016 — FOB (European Federation for Freedom of Belief) frankly condemns the terroristic violence, product of fanaticism and religious extremism, which in recent days has become – if ever possible – more and more intense and odious, with respect to the increasing level of tragedy which we have witnessed in recent years.

From Brussels to Pakistan, we are forced to notice an increasing loss of control over extremist massacres against believers, non-believers and atheists; on the latter, that of the shocking massacre in Lahore, we can not but recall the support we have felt compelled to give to the initiative of Lord David Alton who, a few months ago, asked the UNHCR for clarifications regarding the "downgrading" of Christians Pakistanis from persecuted category to discriminated group.

https://freedomofbelief.net/activities/request-unhcr-review-guidelines-a...

While on one hand FOB stigmatizes the willful and arbitrary confusions between these unacceptable expressions of bigotry and the free and respectful forms of religiosity (confusions that come to the absurd of identifying hate with a specific religion), on the other hand it is in any case necessary that the religious communities become compact and express in no uncertain terms, with maximum intensity, the refusal of horror in the name of religion.

FOB believes in fact that such episodes should provide a further boost to the democratic dialogue and the secular recognition of free religiosity of each individual; however, it is undeniable that acts of violence such as these, far from imposing a religion or a specific thought, make the path towards a real and effective dialogue more difficult, one based upon responsibility, mutual respect, trust and coexistence between people.

We therefore appeal to the European institutions in order to ensure that –  in taking the appropriate measures to prevent similar cases from continuing to occur with the current and chilling frequency – at the same time they will very carefully consider the necessity and urgency of further implementing the guidelines of FORB  program (https://freedomofbelief.net/sites/default/files/documents/eu_guidelines_...) for the defense of pluralism and equality of believers, non-believers and atheists in Europe, in order to establish and export an effective model of secular and peaceful coexistence, founded on the rejection of all forms of violence, hatred and discrimination.