Russia’s chief rabbi calls for eliminating “jihadist underworld”

Moscow, July 25, Interfax – Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar has called for dealing mercilessly with terrorists.

“There is not and can be no compromise with terrorists: the state is not only entitled to but also obliged to use all means available against them,” Rabbi Lazar said in a statement on Thursday when commenting on an attack on Derbent Rabbi Artur (Ovadya) Iskhakov.

He regretted that this attack was “far from being the first” incident of this kind, in which terrorists choose religious figures as targets for their attacks.

“Several well-known muftis in the Caucasus, who professed moderate Islam and who called for inter-ethnic and inter-religious peace, have died at the hands of such thugs,” he said.

Extremists “have put themselves not only outside of any religion but also apart from humankind; their only goal is to kill innocent people, chiefly those who promote eternal values, morals and spirituality, in this world,” he said.

Saying that he would pray for Rabbi Iskhakov’s recovery, Rabbi Lazar urged law enforcement agencies not only to find and punish those who planned and committed this attack but also to “take all legitimate actions to eliminate the jihadist underworld.”

“The attack on the rabbi, as well as the previous attacks on Muslim figures, have pursued the goal of destabilizing all of society and undermining the noble pillars upon which our country’s unity has been built for centuries,” Rabbi Lazar said.

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