A suicide bombing on Sunday killed dozens and wounded hundreds in a city park in Lahore, Pakistan. Jamaat-e-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, explaining that the goal was to kill Christians, a minority religious group in Pakistan.
JCPA is outraged by any attempt to persecute individuals or groups because of their religious beliefs. As we maintained in a policy resolution in 2004, “Having been the quintessential victims of religious persecution over the centuries, Jews know what happens when good people silently stand by in the face of discrimination and oppression of others. Jewish tradition teaches that in every generation we are obligated to view ourselves as if each of us had been personally brought forth out of Egypt. This instruction serves as a call for the Jewish people to rise up against slavery and tyranny in our own time. We are therefore committed to protecting religious freedom by raising awareness about and speaking out against religious persecution wherever it exists.”
Unlike the recent attacks in Belgium, Turkey, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria the Lahore attack was not perpetrated or inspired by the radical Islamic State (ISIS). The Taliban confine their activities to Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, both groups seek to attack and persecute people of different religions or those who they say practice “heretical” forms of Islam, such as Shi’ites.
JCPA condemns this heinous terrorist attack, as it did those that preceded it in recent weeks in Belgium, Turkey, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. As David Bernstein, JCPA President and CEO, said in the statement issued by JCPA after the bombings in Brussels, “As we pray for the survivors and the families of those who were lost, we must also stand together, across religious, ethnic, and national lines, to confront and stop global terror.”