Baghdad – Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael Louis Sako released a message today for Iraq’s Muslims marking the end of the Muslim month of fasting and prayer, which AsiaNews is publishing,  

On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, “we call on our Muslim brothers” to ask them to “raise their voices and condemn officially the crimes” committed in the name of a distorted and deviant form of religion, like the “latest massacre of Sunday 3 July in Karrada, Baghdad”.

Tomorrow marks the end of Ramadan, which this year was marred by recent bloodshed not only in Iraq, but also elsewhere like Dhaka (Bangladesh), Saudi Arabia, and before that Turkey.

Congratulating his fellow Iraqis, the prelate salutes “with pride the Iraqi Army, Peshmerga Forces, Popular Mobilization Army and the Tribal Forces for their victories” against Jihadis.

On this day of celebration, “I sincerely hope that all Iraqi territories will be liberated soon,” allowing the displaced to “return happily to their homes and towns.”

In his message, the patriarch urges Muslims to condemn all forms of violence and terrorism. “Such horrible extremism is in fact a deviation and distortion of religion and should be rejected”; instead, what is needed is a moderate form of Islam that accepts others and endorses co-existence.

Expressing hope for “national unity”, he called for “a renewed political process” to solve the problem of displaced people “waiting to go home”.

Lastly, the patriarch stressed the need to respect the values of “citizenship, equality and freedom” in order to preserve the mosaic and diversity of “our beautiful country”.


Source: Asia News