Police in Jerusalem arrested a man at a gay pride parade after he stabbed 6 people Thursday.
A spokesperson for the police department said that Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, was only released from prison three weeks ago for a 12-year sentence he had served after stabbing three people at a 2005 pride parade.
Two of those stabbed during Thursday’s ordeal are said to be in critical condition.
The BBC has images from the parade that an eyewitness captured that show Schlissel pulling the knife out of his jacket before running into a crowd to stab people.
Police tackled Schlissel and arrested him and the parade continued with shouts of “end the violence.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against the attack, calling it “a most serious incident”.
“In the state of Israel the individual’s freedom of choice is one of basic values. We must ensure that in Israel, every man and woman lives in security in any way they choose. That’s how we acted in the past and how we’ll continue to act. I wish the wounded a speedy recovery,” he said in a statement.
President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the stabbing as a “terrible hate crime”.
“We must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them.”
Yet, these attacks will not be seen as a mark against fundamentalist religious beliefs but instead the acts of a madman. His actions though are clearly fueled by his orthodox beliefs and are systemic of fundamentalist religious beliefs in general. His actions are in line with the teachings of his religion.
Unquestioned personally held beliefs can be dangerous and even deadly. This is a stark reminder that religion is a poison, and people ae paying the price for such beliefs.