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Iraqi Islamic theologian: The tension in Iraq is not primarily about religions

2015-03-24

With all the instability in many Muslim countries, there is a higher need for Christians and Muslims to engage in dialogue and ultimately to find ways to promote peace. Rome's community of Sant' Egidio brought together leading theologians to delve into the issue. Among them were experts from Iraq, where religious extremism has been on the rise. 

WALEED FARAJ ALLA
Theology Professor, University of Kufa (Iraq)
"It's not primarily a conflict between faiths or religions. What is happening in Iraq has no religious connotation. We hope that in one year or so, there can come a solution for Iraq.”

The region of Al Najaf, in southern Iraq, is a refuge for Shia Muslims who have fled from the Islamic State. In their interpretation of sharia law, these Muslims are also considered unfaithful, along with Christians and Yazidis.

WALEED FARAJ ALLA
Theology Professor, University of Kufa (Iraq)
"We see these terrible things and condemn these violent actions against Shiites, Christians and Yazidis. We hope that these refugees can return with dignity to their homes and end this tragic situation. For us, there is nothing more serious than violence against people, especially women and children. We hope that peace comes.”   

Now, many Christians and even moderate Muslims who were forced out of their homes, are hoping for the chance to go back and leave the life of refugees behind them.  For generations they co-existed peacefully and they want have that same chance, again.  

WALEED FARAJ ALLA
Theology Professor, University of Kufa (Iraq)
"We do not like to talk about 'minorities' when talking about Christians and Yazidis. For we are brothers and sisters, and we reject the concept of 'majority' and 'minority.' We are all children of God. We all have the same rights and duties based on equality.”

As instability continues to be a factor in many Middle Eastern countries, inter-faith dialogue continues to be a beacon of hope. 



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