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Islamic State threats against Pope are aimed to radicalize Islam, Patriarch says

September 02, 2016

The death threats against Pope Francis that have been issued by the Islamic State are part of a propaganda campaign, ultimately aimed to radicalize Muslims, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako told the AsiaNews service.

Dabiq, the publication of the Islamic State, calls regularly for a “holy war” against Christians. But the radical journal also heaps contempt on moderate Muslim leaders, notes the Iraqi prelate. The most recent issue carries a picture of Pope Francis in a meeting with Sheik Ahmed el Tayeb, the head of Egypt’s Al Azhar University. The editorial goal, evidently, is to convey the idea that the Egyptian imam is tainted by his alliance with the Roman Pontiff.

"They have in mind a plan for a theocratic nation, based on Islam,” said the Chaldean Patriarch. He reasoned that the Pope “is not the real target. This is just propaganda for political purposes.”

 
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