Statement on the Murders in Chapel Hill: “We Are All Responsible for Each Other”

For Immediate Release: February 11, 2015
Contact: Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director - (207) 358-9785

Everyone at the Center for Inquiry is horrified and deeply saddened by the senseless murders of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. These three young people were clearly full of life, love, and a genuine desire to use their talents and intelligence to help others. The world is a little bleaker today for their loss. Our sincere condolences go out to their families, friends, and the Chapel Hill community.

“We hope that what ultimately emerges from this tragedy is a deeper understanding between people of all faiths and no faith that each one of us has the capacity to do good, to help in our own small ways to make the world a better place,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “Despite our differences in beliefs, we are all part of the global human community, and we are all responsible for each other.”

Added Lindsay, “The alleged killer is reported to have promoted ‘atheism’ in some of his writings as a ‘solution’ to world crises, but there is absolutely nothing about the lack of belief in a god that supports the murder of innocent people, or doing any kind of harm to anyone. As secular humanists, we at CFI will continue to work toward fostering a free and enlightened world for everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe.”

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at