Vienna – Unlike “Nazis and other deadly ideologies of the twentieth century”, the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) carry out their barbaric acts “in the name of Islam”. This is why it is “quite shocking the insufficiency of the official Islamic community that only denounced these acts by shy and helpless statements, showing the absence of a real role in raising the awareness of the public about the impending danger of ISIS in the name of religion”. With these words the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I appeals to the leaders of the Islamic community so that they assume their responsibility in tackling Islamist extremism which is certainly a mortal danger to the Christians of the Middle East, but are according to the Chaldean Patriarch “no less dangerous” for Muslims themselves.
The heartfelt appeal of His Beatitude Louis Raphael I is contained in the open Letter “to the Muslim brothers and sisters around the world” that the Patriarch issued on the occasion of his participation in the last international conference organized by the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Center for interreligious and intercultural dialogue (Kaiicid). The interreligious summit, held in Vienna on 18 and 19 November 2014, was attended by 200 Muslim and Christian figures called to reflect and debate on the issue of common battle against violence in the name of religion.
In the letter, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Primate of the Chaldean Church said he is “shocked” because of those who “disbelieved and belittled the serious danger that ISIS represents” ” and appeals to all Muslim brothers and sisters to a “a drastic change, because it is your responsibility to find an answer, which has to come from you and not from an outside force”. Among the crimes committed by the jihadists in action in Iraq and Syria, the Patriarch also mentions “the violation of the sanctity of churches and monasteries” or converted into mosques, and the abduction of women sold in the slave markets. His Beatitude insists that Christians in the Middle East are an indigenous presence, and invites scholars of religious issues to “rebuff ISIS arguments, refute their arguments with jurisprudence and denounce their heinous practices, in addition to proclaiming their thoughts as the “scourge of humanity”.
By: Agenzia Fides