Statement of the Faculty of Arts regarding the terrorist attacks in Paris

The academic community of the Faculty of Arts is shaken by the the news about the terrorist attacks on 13 November 2015 in Paris. We want to express our deep sympathy with the survivors and those who have lost their loved ones, and our grief for the victims of this unforgivable act of violence and hatred.

Terror of such scope can only result from the feeling of exclusion and iniquity which has turned into blind rage. Therefore we must respond to the atmosphere of fear with humanity, to counteract this example of utmost cowardice with courage, and we must not stop to defend human rights, humanity, and tolerance as our fundamental values. Although this may prove more difficult than ever before, we do not want to let fear motivate our decisions. In this time of speculation and panic, it is important to carefully differentiate between demagogy and expert opinion, between informed analysis and rash thinking, and to base our attitudes on verified information from reliable sources. As a public institution, we want to contribute to this end. One of our contributions is the upcoming Week of Diversity organised by the Faculty, which strives to open the debate about the benefits of connecting different opinions and environments.

We would also like to appeal to the Czech public not to confuse terrorists with refugees and not to direct their sadness and anger – however just – against them. Terror is not the result of the refugee wave, but its cause. The Faculty of Arts will therefore continue to help the refugees in the Czech Republic and beyond. In spite of the tragedy in Paris, we believe in humanity and mutual help in Europe and beyond its borders.

On behalf of the academic community of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University

doc. Mirjam Friedová

Dean of the Faculty of Arts

Prague, 16 November 2015