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Melkite Patriarch urges Christians, Muslims to 'save Islam' from violence

Catholic World News - July 30, 2014

Patriarch Gregory III Laham of Antioch, the leader of the world's Melkite Catholics, has issued an appeal to the Arab world to unite against Islamic extremism.

The Melkite prelate called upon "Arab brothers to come together to save Islam and Muslims from their enemies, internal and external, that threaten the Arab world, the Muslim world, and elsewhere."

In a message issued for Eid al Fitr, the feast that ends the Islamic observance of Ramadan, Patriarch Gregory stressed the common heritage of Arabic Christians and Muslims. "This Arabic civilization, we Christians and Muslims have forged it together and we have lived in mutual respect," he said.

That civilization now faces a crisis, the Patriarch said. "Everywhere blood is flowing and desolation grows. Places of worship, mosques like churches, are destroyed. Humanity's sacred rights are violated and its dignity, freedom, and honor are trampled upon." He mourned "the innocent victims, Christians and Muslims, men and women, young and old, who die every day."

The Melkite Patriarch said that Christians and Muslims should unite to save their common civilization, saying that they are "the best guarantors of each other."

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