SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-A Washington emeritus Catholic Cardinal has joined a galaxy of American Muslim leaders in condemnations against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), defending Islamic teachings as similar to Christianity’s.
“In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself to the audience at a meeting arranged by the Muslim Public Affairs Council held last September 10, The Daily Caller website reported.
“Catholic social teaching is based on the dignity of the human person… [and] as you study the holy Qur’an, as you study Islam, basically, this is what Muhammad the prophet, peace be upon him, has been teaching,” the Cardinal added.
Known as a renowned Catholic figure, McCarrick, is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
He served as Archbishop of Washington from 2001 to 2006, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 2001.
His speech was given in an event attended by Haris Tarin, director of the Washington office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council; Azhar Azeez, president of the Islamic Society of North America; Imam Mohammad Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society; Imam Talib Shareef, president of Masjid Muhammad Inc.; and Imam Johari Abdul Malik of Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center.
“Muslim Americans are very troubled by the images they have seen of beheading innocent people, especially our fellow Americans,” Imam Magid was quoted by Voice of America on Thursday, September 11.
Rizwan Jaka says Islamic State fighters are terrorists.
“We condemn terrorism and extremism and we pray for the safety of our country. And we pray for the safety and peace around the world,” said Jaka.
Nihad Awad of the group Council on American-Islamic Relations shared similar condemnations.
“They exploit my faith and this is very offensive to all Muslims and we speak against it,” said Awad.
Addressing Muslim speakers, Cardinal McCarrick asserted that ISIL atrocities contradict with the peaceful teaching of Islam.
“We believe that Islam is a religion which helps people, not kills them… the Muslim community has always taught this,” McCarrick said.
“Killing people, suicide bombing, the killing of innocent human beings is wrong. It is not the teaching of Islam.
“The truth of the matter is in these terrible massacres of the Islamic state, most of the victims have been Muslims, most of them have not been Christians,” he told his Sept. 10 audience.
“Many Christians, obviously, have suffered, so I am here to say that we stand with our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community, who here in the United States have been giving leadership in a very strong way,” he declared.
The Cardinal has also praised efforts by the American Muslim community to face the growing threat of ISIL.
“I’m privileged to be able to lend my voice to the voice of many of my friends here,” McCarrick said to the Muslim speakers.
“We are together on this against evil, we are against killing, we are against destruction… God bless you in this work you do,” he added.
“They are proud to be Americans… they love America.”