Rep. Grimm Condemns Catholic Priest Beheading in Syria

Jul 1, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs

NEW YORK, NY – Today, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-SI/Brooklyn) issued the following statement in response to news that 49-year-old Catholic priest, Father François Murad, was beheaded June 23rd in northern Syria, where he had been setting up a monastery. The group responsible is reported to be Jabhat al-Nusra, which is a designated terrorist organization with links to Al-Qaeda.

“The beheading of a Catholic priest in Syria is a horrifying atrocity.  Furthermore, the promotion of the video by the group responsible is truly despicable.  I fully condemn this gruesome act and urge the mainstream leaders within the Syrian opposition to denounce those responsible.

“As the U.S. moves forward in providing aid to the Syrian rebels, we must take precautions to ensure that any assistance we provide does not fall into the hands of fringe, extremist groups with ulterior motives. If this attack was indeed committed at the hands of Al-Qaeda linked militants, then it serves as a reminder that we must remain vigilant in our quest to combat Islamic terrorism and work closely with our trusted allies in the Middle East to bring peace to the region.

“My thoughts and prayers remain with the family and friends of Father François Murad, and as a member of the Catholic community, I join in mourning his loss.