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Islamic religious leaders deplore acts and declarations aimed at Christians in Iraq


During a meeting convened by the Arab Thought Forum on December 8, 2010, Islamic religious and national intellectual figures denounced on statement, the criminal nature of the bloody attacks targeting Christian citizens living in Iraq. Abdul Rahman Abu Arafeh, the director of the Arab Thought Forum expressed his strong disapproval of the attacks, affirming that are not permitted by Islam and do not represent Islam and Muslims Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, stressed in his speech the need to preserve the people of the Book. He emphasized the obligation to protect and ensure freedom of belief, life and work, and referred to the Prophet Muhammad, who laid out the rules for the Islamic and Christian relations which have been maintained since the time of Omar ibn al-Khattab.

At the conclusion of the meeting the participants signed a statement, asserting that threats to Christians living in Muslim countries damage the relations of neighborliness and brotherhood between Christians and Muslims. It cited the Quran which grants to all people the right to live in dignity, without exception or discrimination.

Religious figures expressed great regret at the orchestration of criminal acts in Iraq, particularly in light of the anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, and the tradition of Human Rights embedded in the foundations of Islam.

The statement said: "We look with suspicion to the source of these statements and actions that are hostile parties originally designed to increase the enemies of the Arab and Islamic issues. The statement called for by the official authorities in force in the countries, which is performed such acts to make the utmost effort to prevent such acts before they occur and arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The statement sated: "We, the undersigned, citizens of the city of Jerusalem and Palestinian, were dismayed and shocked by the declarations aimed at Christian citizens living in Muslim countries.  Accordingly, we affirm the indignation and anger in response to the statements and criminal acts. These  declarations, regardless of who is responsible, do not represent Islam and the Muslims, who are distancing themselves from such crimes.
“We demand and expect from the official authorities of the countries in which the acts were committed, to make the utmost effort to prevent other such crimes before they occur, while arresting the perpetrators and bringing them to justice,” the statement added. The statement also stressed the need for strength within the Christian community in Iraq, despite the difficult circumstances they are experiencing, and encouraged cooperation with Muslims, and avoid missing a possible opportunity, because of the actions of those who deliberately sow discord in the soul.

Abu Arafeh, read a statement on behalf of the Muslim leaders who are protesting and currently threatened by deportation, at the headquarters of the Red Crossing Sheikh Jarrah. The statement emphasizes their rejection of the attacks targeting Christians in Iraq, and condemns the acts, calling upon perpetrators to repent, seek forgiveness, and offer restitution to the victims

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