ASIA/IRAQ - “Terrorism is a threat to Muslims as well” Father Nizar told Fides

Tuesday, 27 April 2004

Baghdad (Fides Service)- “Western diplomacy must make every effort to help democratic forces in the Arab world voice loud and clear condemnation of extremism ” Rev. Nizar Semaan, Iraqi Catholic priest in Mosul told Fides. “The world must realise that the Arab and Muslim world must not be left in the hands of fundamentalists. But unfortunately democratic leaders lack the courage to openly say, enough with violence!”.
“Terrorism is a threat for everyone in Iraq including Muslims ” Father Nizar told Fides. “In Europe there are millions of Muslims. What would happen if Islam were identified only with terrorism? This would be a victory for the under-culture which wants to poison relations between different faiths and cultures. The first to lose would be Muslim immigrants in Europe, who would be hostages of religious and ideological fundamentalism.”.
“This is why a condemnation of terrorism, loud and clear, is in the interest of everyone. I know that certain problems must be solved, such as more social and economic justice among peoples and states, the problem of Palestine and sovereignty must return to the Iraqis but these are matters to solve peacefully” Father Nizar told Fides. “Terrorism only complicates the situation, it is an obstacle to the solution of situations of injustice ”.
“To take the situation of Iraq” -Father Nizar told Fides -“In the south, work on the reconstruction of the country has stopped because of the rebellion led by Moqtada al Sadr and the first to lose are Shiite civilians. In fact some Muslim leaders have criticised Al Sadr for the violence and instability he has provoked”.
“We the people of Iraq want an independent nation, free and democratic, and terrorism is not the way to obtain it. The terrorists want to divide Iraq to make fertile soil for their ideology of death to spread. We hope no one will be intimidated by this obvious terrorist project ” Father Nizar concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 27/4/2004, righe 29 parole 345)