Driven by the same extreme Islamist ideology terrorists have killed 21 Coptic Christians in Egypt and two Danish citizens in Copenhagen in the last few days.
The ECPM is horrified about these killings and is very worried for the safety of Christians in the Middle East and Jews in Europe. The ECPM shares the call to uphold the freedom of expression in Europe against any extremist ideology.
It is time to understand that these radical Islamist terrorist attacks in Europe and those on Christians and other minorities in Africa and the Middle East are not fundamentally different. In this global age we see that movements like ISIS are not confined to the borders outside Europe but threaten people inside Europe as well. We, therefore, need to show solidarity with the victims across Europe’s boundaries. Furthermore, fitting cross-border policies and responses to protect human dignity and fundamental values and freedoms against the ideology of ISIS and similar organisations are needed as well.
The ECPM welcomes all efforts already being taken by the EEAS and other EU institutions as well as Member States. The ECPM calls on the EEAS to engage directly with both the religious and political representatives of the minorities in the Middle East to step up political efforts to secure long-term safety for these peoples in their homelands (such as Iraq and Syria). The ECPM reminds the EEAS and the EU of the Common Declaration of the minorities of Iraq.
Finally the ECPM repeats its call for a clear and (where needed) critical dialogue with the representatives of Islam. Given the fact that this is a global challenge we also see a role for the EU in its dialogue with for example the Arab League. Under article 17 TFEU the EU can find partners in this process.