Canada appalled by Destruction of Jonah’s Tomb in Iraq

July 25, 2014 - Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“I was appalled and deeply saddened to learn of the deliberate and unacceptable destruction of the tomb of Jonah, a site revered by both Christians and Muslims in Mosul, Iraq, by the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“ISIS’s actions are unconscionable violations of religious freedom and reveal the true nature of its agenda, which is driven by hate and intolerance. ISIS’s actions continue to demonstrate a gross contempt for human dignity and basic freedoms, including freedom of religion.

“ISIS’s ongoing severe oppression in Mosul of the Christian community, of the Shi’a and Yazidi communities, and of Sunnis who reject ISIS’s extremist ideology collectively underscores that ISIS is nothing more than a violent terrorist organization, devoid of the respect, deference and acceptance Muslims are called to have toward others. ISIS’s actions are a grave insult and offence to Muslims everywhere.

“Canada stands with the Iraqi people and with like-minded countries that seek to defend religious freedom and human rights against the onslaught of those who seek to impose their evil vision of total repression.

“Canada supports the Iraqi government’s fight against ISIS and calls on Iraqi leaders to come together to govern for all Iraqis, regardless of religion, for the sake of the security, democracy and prosperity of the Iraqi people.”

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