CHICAGO: Saudi Arabia joined US Arabs and Muslims on Monday in condemning a machete attack in a rabbi’s home in New York.
“Houses of worship are meant to be a safe refuge. Those who desecrate them by committing violent or hateful acts attack all humanity,” said a spokesman for Princess Reema bint Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador to the US.
Five people suffered serious stabbing injuries when a man wielding a machete burst into Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home in Monsey, a small town north of New York City, during a Hanukkah religious celebration on Saturday night.
Grafton Thomas, 37, appeared in court on Sunday on five charges of attempted murder. His friends and family said he suffered from mental illness.
US Muslim community leaders declared: “An attack against one of us is an attack against all of us,” in a joint statement with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in Washington, expressed “the solidarity of American Muslims with the Jewish community in New York and nationwide. No member of any religious, ethnic or minority community should be made to feel unsafe in the streets or in their own homes.”
The Association of Muslim Police also denounced the attack. “An attack on the Jewish community in New York is an attack on all communities,” it said. “We stand together with … the Jewish community. Faith brings communities together, hate will never prevail.”