People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of a Paris suburb. Picture: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU
People gather at the Place de la Republique in Paris, to pay tribute to Samuel Paty, the French teacher who was beheaded on the streets of a Paris suburb. Picture: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU

Turkish President Recep Erdoğan and Iran’s political leadership should take full responsibility for the knife attack in Notre Dame Basilica in Nice, France, which led to three fatalities.

After the beheading of schoolteacher Samuel Paty three weeks ago in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine in Paris by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, Erdoğan and Iran conveniently directed their anger at French President Emmanuel Macron. Their attack on Macron is a psychological boost for the limping Isis.

Not all Muslims share the Isis philosophy of terror as the only solution to problems. Yousef al-Othaimeen, the general secretary of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, was right in condemning the beheading and all forms of extremism. Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, ethnic nationalism and all such hate crimes have no place in the modern world.

We must condemn any killing in the name of religion, and the oppression of others. If the Islamophobia after 9/11 was wrong, so, too, is the killing of Paty. God by whatever name is the same, and preaches love for one another. Violence will not solve any problem, as we have seen in Rwanda, Kosovo, Kenya, Israel, Syria, Sri Lanka, Burma, Yemen and SA. 

As the theologian Jonathan Sacks reminds us, “when conversation falters, brutality may not be far away”. 

Dr Lucas Ntyintyane 
Via e-mail

JOIN THE DISCUSSION: Send us an e-mail with your comments. Letters of more than 300 words may be edited for length. Send your letter by e-mail to letters@businesslive.co.za. Anonymous correspondence will not be published. Writers should include a daytime phone number.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.