Arab League, Al-Azhar, Qatar Condemn Paris Attack

The Arab League and Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious center of learning, both condemned a deadly attack Wednesday on a Paris satirical newspaper.

"Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris," the League said after gunmen stormed the weekly's offices killing at least 12 people and chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest).

Al-Azhar condemned the "criminal attack," saying that "Islam denounces any violence", in remarks carried by Egypt's state news agency MENA.

In a separate statement to Agence France-Presse, Al-Azhar senior official Abbas Shoman said the institution "does not approve of using violence even if it was in response to an offense committed against sacred Muslim sentiments".

Charlie Hebdo has sparked anger in the past among Muslims for publishing cartoons of the prophet Mohamed.

Qatar, which is accused of backing radical Islamic groups, expressed "strong" condemnation of the attack.

"Such acts that target unarmed civilians contradict all principles and moral and human values," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Doha, accused of supporting radical Islamist groups in Libya and Syria, offered condolences to the French government and the families of the victims.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars, led by Doha-based controversial cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, also condemned the "sinful" attack, "regardless of who are the culprits and who is behind them."

It urged "French authorities and people to unite against extremism regardless of its religion or belief."

"Those who are committing such crimes aim to sow sedition," the union said.

Source: Agence France Presse

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