Malta has joined other world leaders in condemning the attack on a Paris satirical newspaper in which at least 12 people were killed with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat saying:
"We stand united with the French people in defending freedom of speech and democracy.
"People of goodwill, irrespective of their origin, race and religion will surely unite around these principles. Today, we are all French."
In a tweet, Dr Joseph Muscat said:
“Solidarity with the victims, families and people of #France.”
And Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said the attack was sickening.
“Terror attack on #CharlieHebdo is sickening. We stand united with #France and will keep fighting against terrorism and for #FreedomOfSpeech.”
AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY
Malta's Ahmadiyya Muslim Community categorically condemned the attack and said its thoughts and prayers were with the victims and all affected "by this evil and outrageous attack".
"These terrorists and extremists have hijacked the religion of Islam – the religion of peace, for their personal agenda and interests through committing vicious atrocities.
"In reality, Islam does not approve of disorder in any form. Islam is far from teaching terrorism. It teaches rule of law, obedience to the authorities and does not let anyone to take the law in his own hands... It champions the sanctity of human life and states," the community said.
INSTITUTE OF MALTESE JOURNALISTS
The Institute of Maltese Journalists expressed solidarity with the victims' families and offered its moral support to the Charlie Hebdo journalists.
Foreign Minister George Vella in a statement conveyed his support to the French authorities in bringing those responsible to justice and expressed his solidarity with the families of those killed, the injured and the communities traumatised by this mindless slaughter.
He said both the Prime Minister and himself would be communicating directly with French President Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to reiterate the support of the Maltese government.
The six Maltese MEPs reiterated that they stood firmly for freedom of expression and freedom of the press everywhere.
"Violence will never succeed in suppressing the values and freedoms we all hold dear."
European Parliament President Martin Schulz expressed condolences with the families and friends of the victims.
"We are profoundly shocked by this heinous crime which is an affront to civilised society and we unreservedly condemn such violence.
"As Europeans we must never surrender the values which are so close to our hearts and which this act has sought to undermine: the freedom of the press and of expression, tolerance, and mutual respect.
"This is a moment of profound sadness which requires a dignified and clear response. Whatever our opinions or religious beliefs we must stand strong and united against such violent acts. I call on all citizens to defend together the values we cherish.
"I also wish a prompt recovery to those injured," he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced outrage at the "terrible terrorist attack" which he described as a "horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime."
"This horrific attack is meant to divide," Ban told reporters. "We must not fall into that trap."
US President Barack Obama condemned the deadly shooting calling it a terrorist attack against its ally, France.
"We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice," Obama said in a statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain stood with France in the fight against terror.
"The murders in Paris are sickening. We stand with the French people in the fight against terror and defending the freedom of the press," Cameron said in a statement on his official Twitter feed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called described the shooting as an attack on freedom of speech and the press.
"This abominable act is not only an attack on the lives of French citizens and their security," Merkel said in a statement. "It is also an attack on freedom of speech and the press, core elements of our free democratic culture. In no way can this be justified."
In a separate statement, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called the attack an "unbelievably brutal crime".
Pope Francis condemned as "abominable" the attack and called on everyone to stop the spread of hate.
"The Holy Father expresses his firmest condemnation of the horrible attack," chief Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in statement.
Pope Francis "calls on everyone to oppose every method of spreading hate" because it "radically undermines the fundamental good of peaceful coexistence of people despite national, religious and cultural differences".
"Whatever its motivation might be, homicidal violence is abominable (and) is never justified," the spokesman said, reflecting the sentiments of the Pope.
The leader of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church was "participating in the prayers and sufferings of the injured and the families of the dead", the spokesman said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Vatican's deputy spokesman, Father Ciro Benedettini, called the Paris attack "abominable because it is both an attack against people as well as against freedom of the press."
Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the attack as a "cynical crime," and pledged co-operation in fighting terrorism.
"I think all of Europe is crying today," said Italian Premier Matteo Renzi. "All the free world is crying. All men and women who believe in freedom and reason are crying."
UNION OF FRENCH MOSQUES
Mohammed Moussaoui, president of the Union of French mosques, condemned the "hateful act," and urged Muslims and Christians "to intensify their actions to give more strength to this dialogue, to make a united front against extremism".
EGYPT'S LEADING ISLAMIC AUTHORITY
Egypt's leading Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, a thousand-year-old seat of religious learning respected by Muslims around the world, condemned the attack referring to it as a criminal act on its Facebook site.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, also condemned the shooting.
"...The kingdom therefore strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs," the Saudi state news agency SPA said, citing an official source.
Egypt's leading Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, also condemned the attack, which killed at least 12 people including two police officers, the worst militant attack on French soil for decades.
MEETING OF EXPERTS TO ANALYSE THREATS
Italy's Interior Ministry called a meeting of experts to analyse militant threats.
The so-called Strategic Anti-terrorism Analysis Committee, made up of experts from Italy's police forces and intelligence services, will meet this afternoon "to examine with great attention the terrorist threat in light of the very grave attack in Paris today", the ministry said in a statement.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us