A United Front Against Violence in the Name of Religion

22 August 2014

KAICIID Joins Call by Religious, Political Leaders to End Criminal Violence against Religious Minorities in Iraq

In northern Iraq, brutal violence has led to the murder of thousands of innocent civilians. Many religious and secular authorities from around the world have condemned these heinous acts. KAICIID denounces all violence committed against Sunni, Shia, Christian, and Yazidi groups and individuals, regardless of their religious identity, their communities and sacred sites. Adding its voice to those of political and religious leaders from around the world, KAICIID deplores and condemns violence committed in the name of religion. 

In the case of the “Islamic State” or ISIS, it is evident that they do not speak on behalf of Islam, as they claim. On the contrary, the atrocities committed by them demonstrate that their ideology is not connected to religious beliefs of any kind. Their actions have been denounced by the overwhelming majority of Muslims, as well as Islamic religious authorities.

Speaking on behalf of KAICIID, Secretary General Faisal Bin Muaammar said: “I and many others are deeply shocked by the horrific crimes committed by those who scorn the moral and ethical precepts that inform both the responsible experience of faith and responsible governance. Our outrage must be forged into a common effort to save those now threatened and to halt these crimes from continuing anywhere in the world. We call upon international organizations and civil society organizations to join us in a united front to stand up in defence of the universal values of peace and dialogue, which are shared by all religions. We must unite to bring an end to conflict and violence. The harmonious coexistence of our diverse cultures depends upon the preservation of universal human rights.” 

The so-called “Islamic State”, and other like-minded entities, deliberately destroy the homes, places of worship and livelihoods of innocent people. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens have been forced to flee their homes. Their future and lives are imperilled.

No crime can be justified by invoking religion.

KAICIID is working to facilitate a united front among communities of many religions, traditions and cultures, as well as civil society and political leadership, to condemn and stem such violence, and to reject any attempt to justify these acts on the basis of religion. 

By enabling dialogue and cooperation among religious communities and political leaders, KAICIID fosters respect, understanding and cooperation among people of different religions, cultures and traditions. This collaboration is vitally needed to prevent the abuse of religion and to resolve conflict. 

To that end KAICIID is engaged in close consultations with political, religious and international organisations and is committed to working with them to promote peace in the region. KAICIID offers to facilitate and convene local, regional and international stakeholders to develop and implement multilateral peacebuilding initiatives.   KAICIID also offers training to strengthen interreligious dialogue and interreligious cooperation to foster plurality and tolerance.

“We are increasingly confronted with organized groups and individuals who cynically justify crimes against humanity by claiming religious motivation. We stand with those who call for peace in Iraq, and with those working for a peaceful end to this deplorable situation”, said Secretary General Bin Muaammar.

Please click here to read a selection of responses from Religious Leaders and Intergovernmental Organisations to the Violence in Northern Iraq 

Please click here to read this statement in German