The Foundation condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack on a Church in Nigeria that took the precious lives of more than 20 innocent people during mass on Sunday 5th June. Our prayers, condolences and thoughts are with the families of all those that lost their lives and with those who were injured. We stand united with St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria. Muslims believe in the Quranic injunction that teaches that the taking of any innocent life is the same as taking the lives of all of humanity.
St. Francis of Assisi after whom the Church is named, was someone who built bridges between people, an ascetic who famously reached out to Muslims over 800 years ago to stop any animosity between people of different faiths. He was deeply moved by the welcome he received as well as the interfaith discussions he held with Sultan Al-Malik Al-Kamil Naser ad-Din, the nephew of Salahudeen. It is these shared experiences of coexistence, brotherhood and humanity that must define who we are and it is those values that must bring us together in times of both joy and grief.