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SWC: Hate Preachers Who Help Prepare Suicide Bombers Should Be Charged With Crimes

SWC: HATE PREACHERS WHO HELP PREPARE SUICIDE BOMBERS SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH CRIMES

July 13, 2005

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called on governments throughout the world to enact legislation that would charge hate preachers who help program suicide bombers with a crime.

"The events in London are a wake up call to the entire world that the time has come to deal firmly with religious fanaticism that turns people into killing machines," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Wiesenthal Center’s dean and founder

"It is not only the suicide bombers who are culpable of terrible crimes but those who inspire them to hate who should bear the full responsibility. In addition, we call upon clerics from the Muslim world to gather and issue a strong condemnation on this new culture of death by issuing a Fatwa declaring suicide bombings a "Crime Against Humanity". This is not a time for equivocation or explanation – there must be no rationalizations for the mass murder of innocent civilians," he added.

"We strongly applaud today’s four-point plan announced by Prime Minster Tony Blair," added Hier.

Since 2003, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has spearheaded a campaign to have suicide bombings declared a ‘Crime Against Humanity’. The goal of the campaign is to create a legal tool for victims to go after sponsors and those who inspire this deadly culture of mass murder worldwide. To this end, Center officials have brought the initiative to EU head Javier Solana, His Holiness, the late Pope John Paul II, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdallah Gul, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and diplomats from 20 other countries.

In 1995, Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper met in Cairo with then Grand Mufti of Egypt Sheik Tantawi to ask for a Fatwa against what was then the new phenomenon of suicide bombings.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, or visit www.wiesenthal.com.