Monday, November 1, 2010


(AP / Reuters) - Fifty-two hostages and police were killed on Sunday when security forces raided a Baghdad church to free more than 100 Iraqi Catholics held by al-Qaida-linked gunmen, a deputy interior minister said. Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal said on Monday that 67 people were wounded during the raid of the church in central Baghdad by gunmen demanding the release of al-Qaida prisoners in Iraq and Egypt. The toll only included hostages and police, not attackers. The standoff began at dusk Sunday when militants wearing suicide vests and armed with grenades attacked the nearby Iraqi stock exchange and then entered the nearby Our Lady of Deliverance church - one of Baghdad’s main Catholic places of worship - taking about 120 Christians hostage. Iraqi forces stormed the church after a tense hours-long standoff, freeing the hostages. It was not immediately clear whether the hostages died at the hands of the attackers or during the rescue. The attack came two days after a suicide attack at a cafe in Diyala Province killed 21 people, the worst assault in more than a month. In a statement posted on a Web site operated by militants late on Sunday, the Islamic State of Iraq took responsibility for the attack on what it called “the dirty den of idolatry,” Reuters reported. The posting said its actions had been prompted in part by the behavior of the Coptic Church in Egypt, which it accused of detaining two women who converted to Islam. The Islamic State of Iraq had been demanding the release of fellow militants from prisons in Iraq and in Egypt. The group also said it would “exterminate Iraqi Christians” if Muslim women in Iraq were not freed, The Associated Press said.

Iraqi Catholic church leaders have been constantly fearful of attack since the Rev. Terry Jones in Gainesville, Fla., threatened to burn a Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. At the end, Mr. Jones decided not to burn the Koran. In view of these unfortunate facts and taking into account that Iraqi Christians have been frequent targets for insurgents, it is not surprising that the differences amid religions continue and that this Islamic group has called the Catholic Church “the dirty place of the infidel” and has warned of more attacks against Christians in the future.

A new fear by name Islamaphobia is spreading in all corners of the world, not only terrifying non Muslims but also Muslims. These terrorists refer their source to holy Quran and eulogise their operation as a religious duty and divine order. Interfaith advocates and moderates in Islam brotherhood have given a new vision to the sense of holy war “Jihad”. ... Anyhow these explanations are neither going to reach and reform the fundamentalists and their blind faction. Being temperate is not just being amicable or away from problems. It requires the same intensity in a positive direction, without which, triumph over evil and restoration of peace will become unfeasible. Moderate Muslims are very limited in number as well as verve. In 2006, an Islam network by name “Al Jazeera” conducted an opinion poll among Muslims, regarding Osama Bin Laden’s twin tower attacks. 49% were in favour of Bin Laden justifying the attacks. ... Islam needs to develop more interfaith forces to compete with its fundamental elements and we see lot of young and energetic moderates, functioning amidst threat and peril.

Śrīla S.A.R. Prasanna Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swamy :
Acarya of Ramanuja Sampradaya
“International Conference on Interfaith”
“Culture, Philosophy, Literature and Religion”
7th and 8th Sep 2009 at Somaiya Auditorium, Mumbai, India.

No comments: