The APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief has issued the following statement on the Tree of Life Synagogue Attack in Pittsburgh on Saturday:
The APPG sends its deep condolences to the families and friends of the 11 victims killed in the anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday morning. Every person’s right to Freedom of Religion or Belief is a fundamental and any incident in which individuals are targeted because of their beliefs is an affront to human dignity. The APPG stands in solidarity with all those mourning this great loss. The APPG calls on all governments, including in the UK, to ensure sufficient resource is allocated to protect its citizens against anti-Semitic and other hate-crime attacks.
In the UK alone, between April 2017 – March 2018 there was a 40% increase in reported religious hate crime in the UK, the number of offences recorded hitting a record high of nearly 95,000. The Home Office’s statistics showed that more than half of religiously-motivated attacks in 2017-18 were directed at Muslims and the next most commonly targeted group was Jewish people. The APPG welcomes the UK Government’s Hate Crime Action Plan and urges that its implementation is swift and enables the Government to effectively prevent hate-crime incidents in the UK.
Those killed were Daniel Stein, 71; Joyce Feinberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Rose Mallinger, 97; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal 54; husband and wife Bernice Simon, 84 and Sylvan Simon, 86; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69.