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Iraqi prelate challenges Muslim leaders to fight radical Islamic ideology

January 19, 2015

Iraq’s leading Catholic prelate has issued a plea for responsible Islamic leaders to join in the task of “dismantling” radical jihadist ideology.

Patriarch Raphael Louis I Sako of the Chaldean Catholic Church told an audience in Baghdad that the religious minorities of Iraq, “are today marginalized, and have been dealt with harshly and in a brutal way.” Christians especially have suffered under the Islamic State, he said—reporting that in Mosul and the Nineveh Plains, “not a single one” is left.

The Chaldean Patriarch invited Islamic leaders to confront “this immoral and uncivilized phenomenon” and to “spread the civilized culture of respecting diversity.”

Toward that end, Patriarch Sako said, Islamic leaders should review and amend the texts used by Muslim teachers, “closing the door to those who are influencing the mentality of young people to use violence in the name of religion.” He challenged them to “promote a civilized culture of acceptance and acknowledging others as brothers, co-citizens, and full partners.”

“At this point, there is no other future for us than living together in peace,” the Patriarch said.


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