Vatican cites Atatürk in ISIL message
Pope Francis attends a vigil service with youths from the dioceses of Germany in he Vatican. AP PhotoThe Vatican has called on Muslim religious leaders to condemn “unspeakable criminal acts” by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), citing the abolishment of the caliphate by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founding father of the Turkish Republic.
“The whole world has witnessed with incredulity what is now called the ‘Restoration of the Caliphate,’ which had been abolished on Oct. 29, 1923 by Kemal Atatürk, founder of modern Turkey,” the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, an office set up to promote contact with other faiths, said in a statement. “Opposition to this ‘restoration’ by the majority of religious institutions and Muslim politicians has not prevented ‘Islamic State’ jihadists from committing and continuing to commit unspeakable criminal acts,” it said.
“No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarity,” the council said, adding that the plight of Christians, members of the ancient Yazidi sect and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq required “a clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims.”
“All must be unanimous in unequivocally condemning these crimes and in denouncing the use of religion to justify them,” it said. “If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have?”