SHAFAQNA – The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern rite in full communion with the Catholic Church, called on Muslims to speak against the Islamic State.

Patriarch Louis Sako, in an August 27 statement, said, “[It]’s time for Muslims and non-Muslim people of goodwill around the world to deal seriously [and] not superficially … especially when we know that the majority of Muslims are neutral/unbiased, open-minded and willing to work hard for the benefit of their countries and their fellow citizens.”

Patriarch Sako said the only way people could stop the spread of the “ISIS cancer” is to stand against the Islamic terrorists’ organization.

The patriarch also called for Muslims to denounce the ideology that says the only guarantee of Heaven or eternal happiness is to kill innocent people. He called for Muslims to “show the real face of Islam,” and so confirm to people that extremism is contrary to their beliefs.

The patriarch said that many Christians are waiting for Islamic governments and religious authorities to come together and to “confront and dismantle terrorism and extremism.”

He also cited statements against Christians that he said constantly appear in Islamic religious sermons and fatwas and “must be dealt with decisively.”

The day after Sako spoke, there was another attack on a Catholic priest by an Islamic extremist during Mass. The man rushed Fr. Albert Pandiangan and slashed him on his left arm with an axe. The attacker also tried killing hundreds of parishoners, but his backpack bomb failed to go off, injuring only him.

The 18-year-old terrorist, who possessed a self-created ISIS flag in his wallet, was wrestled to the ground by members of the congregation following a “popping” sound made by the failed explosive. They removed the axe from the terrorist’s hands and waited for police. He later claimed to authorities he was not working alone.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, chaplain of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, spoke out about Islam in July, saying he thinks “the appropriate response is to be firm about the Christian origin of our own nation, and certainly in Europe, and the Christian foundations of the government, and to fortify those. We have to say no, our country is not free to become a Muslim state.”

Also in July, Patriarch Ignatius Younan of the Syriac Catholic Church of Antioch — another rite of the Catholic Church — denounced the West’s representation of a “peaceful Islam.”

Go to the depth of the problem. … It is a matter of Islam, radical Islam, and most of the Sunni Muslims are radical. Why? Because they take their Quran literally. In the Quran … you have verses that are very intolerant, very violent. … A Muslim has to learn the Quran literally … and if you have people memorizing verses like “Go and kill the infidels” … this is the problem.

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