In a Resolution adopted by 578 votes to 31, with 34 abstentions, the European Parliament has condemned the terrorist attacks by the Islamist Al-Shaabab militia against Christian students on a university campus in Garissa/Kenya and conveyed its condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and Government of Kenya. The Resolution calls on the EU and its Member States to address the persecution of Christians as a priority issue for their foreign policy. This follows Al-Shabaab’s 2 April attack on Kenya’s Garissa University, which killed 147 Christian students and injured 79 others.
The Resolution notes that the attackers in Garissa singled out Christian students and that Al-Shabaab “openly and publicly claims to be waging war on Christians”. Christians are the “most persecuted religious group”, with more than 150,000 killed every year, and attacks against them have “risen tremendously” in recent months, mainly in the Arab world and mostly by jihadist terrorists, it acknowledges.
Apart from Kenya, MEPs also point to examples in Nigeria, Iraq, Libya and Sudan. At the same time, they condemn and reject misinterpretations of Islam designed to “legitimise” the extermination of Christians. They urge Muslim leaders to condemn all terrorist attacks and also call on the Kenyan Government to not draw parallels between Muslims and Al-Shabaab and instead to target only the perpetrators, not wider “ethnic and faith communities” .
A video recording of the debate is available here.