Interfaith leaders Honor the Recent Victims of Terrorist Attack in Baghdad
Following the criminal and terrorist attack at the Church of Lady of Salvation that followed with more bloody and barbaric attacks on innocent civilians in Baghdad, Muslim and Christian interfaith partners gathered at the Islamic House of Wisdom for a night of dinner, dialogue, and prayer for the souls of the victims of terrorism in Iraq.
Brother Khalil Hashem welcomed members of the clergy community, organizational leaders and members of numerous congregations. He asked Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, the spiritual leader of IHW to bless the interfaith assembly with his words of grace and wisdom.
Imam honored the memory of Christian and Muslim martyrs from the last few days in Baghdad and condemned the murderers as people without faith, dignity and spirit. Imam Elahi reiterated the need for dialogue to fend off the murderous and the extreme voices in every religion. The three faiths have a lot more in common than most people realize, and it is imperative that their followers focus on the commonalities to spread more peace and justice in the world, he said.
Reciting verse 40 from the chapter of Al-hajj in the Quran, imam reflected on the sacredness of places of worship, especially Mosques, Churches, Synagogues and Temples. He called any threat or attack on places of prayers and meditation a crime against faith and spirituality.
Imam Elahi condemned terrorism in all forms and said those who practice acts of terrorism in the name of Islam in reality are the worst enemies of Islam that put fuel to the fire of Islamophobia.
In another part of his message, imam Elahi pointed out the season of hajj and stated that more than 3 million Muslims are on their way to perform a religious duty of their life time in answering the call of Prophet Abraham who was the spiritual father of the 3 Abrahamic religions.
In hajj, every pilgrim must pray in the place where Abraham prayed. They must walk between the mount of Safa and Marwa in search for spiritual water, where the wife of Abraham searched for water for her son Ismail. In the end there is a sacrifice of meat that is distributed to the poor and pebbles are thrown on the pillars in Mina to celebrate the sacrifice and struggle of Abraham against the Satan.
Imam Elahi further stated that we all are children of Abraham and the name of our father is mentioned in the Quran 69 times! We as followers of Abraham must follow Abraham's faith, submission, sincerity, sacrifice, patience, prayer and determination.
Let's all be united against the cancer of extremism in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and save our youth from any criminal hijackers of faith who are ran directly or indirectly by the people of politics and power whose greed for domination and materialism has no limit.
Imam Elahi ended his words with prayer for those who lost their lives in Churches, mosques and streets of Iraq and asked God for a speedy recovery for the wounded and patience for the government and people of Iraq.
imam Elahi's words the interfaith leaders shared Abrahamic traditions
and values and prayed for the victims of terrorism in Iraq. Some of the
participants who expressed their views included, Fr. Ventline, Bishop
Haddan, Rev. Felix, Br. Dawud Walid, Dr. Talal Turfa, Imam Saleh, Jack
Samaan, Dr. Afif Shokair and others. More details to be added to our online publication- stay tuned!
We are hoping to receive their comments to be used in IHW publications soon inshaallah.