WCC Denounces ‘Brutal’ Ideology Behind Recent Islamic Terror Attacks

TOPSHOT - This picture taken on October 20, 2020, during the 'Marche Blanche' in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, northwest of Paris, shows a sign reading 'I am Samuel. Long live freedom of expression' in solidarity after a teacher was beheaded for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. His murder in a Paris …
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The World Council of Churches (WCC) has denounced recent Islamic terror attacks in Europe and elsewhere, calling on the international community to confront the radical ideology that motivates them.

In a November 3 statement, Father Ioan Sauca, Interim General Secretary of the WCC, said his organization is “horrified by the spate of violent extremist attacks around the world in recent hours, while specifically mentioning terror attacks in western Ethiopia, Kabul, and Vienna.

“The unbearable toll of lives lost, and the impact on the affected communities and nations,” Father Sauca said, “must engage the concern, solidarity and action of the international community and all people of goodwill, to stem the bloodshed and to confront the brutal ideologies behind such atrocities.”

On November 1, All Saints Day, presumed Muslim members of the Oromo Liberation Army slaughtered 54 people from the Amhara ethnic group, composed mainly of Christians from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

“Ethiopian Orthodox communities have also been targeted in previous attacks, with churches burned and many members of the church communities killed since mid 2018,” the statement reads. “WCC denounces these attacks, and the unconscionable instrumentalization of ethnic and religious differences for political purposes which feeds such attacks and atrocities.”

The following day, gunmen from an Afghan branch of the Islamic State terror group attacked Afghanistan’s largest university, “killing at least 19 people and wounding more than a dozen,” WCC noted.

That same night, heavily armed Islamist militants opened fire at six different locations in Vienna’s city center, killing two men and two women and wounding 22 more. Police killed one of the gunmen, whom Interior Minister Karl Nehammer identified as an “Islamist terrorist,” a man who in 2019 had been sentenced to 22 months in jail after trying to reach Syria to join Islamic State jihadists.

“The WCC reiterates its sadly oft-repeated categorical denunciation of all such attacks, and its rejection of any attempts to justify such violence on religious grounds,” Father Sauca said in his statement.

Similarly, last Thursday morning, a 21-year-old Tunisian immigrant named named Brahim Issaoui entered the basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France, brandishing a knife with a six-inch blade along with a copy of the Quran. He proceeded to stab three people to death, one of whom he attempted to decapitate with the blade.

According to eyewitnesses, Issaoui repeated “Allahu akbar” (Allah is greater) over and over during the attack.

France’s national antiterrorist prosecution announced the opening of an investigation for “assassination and attempted assassination in connection with a terrorist enterprise” and “criminal terrorist association,” French media reported.

Following that attack, Vatican Cardinal Robert Sarah denounced the ideology of Islamism, calling it a “monstrous fanaticism.”

“Islamism is a monstrous fanaticism which must be battled with force and determination,” tweeted Cardinal Sarah, who heads up the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship.

“It will not stop its war. Unfortunately, we Africans know this only too well,” wrote the cardinal, who hails from Guinea, an African nation where 85 percent of the population is Muslim. “The barbarians are always the enemies of peace.”

“The West, today France, must understand this. Let us pray,” he said.

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