For the first time since the third century there are “no more Christians in Iraq,” said Mosul Archbishop Amel Shamon Nona in an interview Sunday with the Spanish newspaper ABC.
“Christians,” Nona said, “had a very important and beautiful mission in Iraq,” which included “educating others and society itself on the principles and values of life.” Nona noted that an Iraq without Christians is not “a balanced society.”
“This is what is happening in the Middle East in general,” Nona said. “The societies have only one color, and a society with only one color is not a society.”
The Archbishop has been an outspoken critic of radical Islam, and has insisted that the West is in danger because of its ignorance of Islam.
This past August, Nona said that the sufferings of Christians in the Middle East are the “prelude” to those that Europeans and Western Christians “will also suffer in the near future.” Nona declared: “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead.”
He was especially adamant in warning the west about the danger of radical Islam. “You must reconsider our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming an ever growing number of Muslims into your countries. You too are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions,” Nona said.
“You think all men are equal,” Nona added, “but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”
In Sunday’s interview, the Archbishop reiterated his concerns for the West. “It’s very easy for a moderate Muslim to become a fundamentalist,” he said. “Some people do not have faith and yet become Islamic fundamentalists.”
“In the West it may happen,” Nona added. “In fact, in the ranks of the Islamic State there are people from America, Europe and Canada. Suicide attacks are committed by people who come from Germany and France. These are not people who were born in Muslim countries and then came here, but who were born and studied in Europe. It is a serious problem and Europe has to face it,” he said.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome