Canada Calls for Grace and Human Dignity in Iraq

June 17, 2014 - Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“As Iraq is grappling with a brutal terrorist insurgency, Canada calls on Iraqi leaders to work together to de-escalate the situation and engage in a peaceful and inclusive democratic process. We also call on all Iraqis to unite and continue to build toward a multi-confessional society and reject sectarian violence.

“Democracy cannot find fertile ground in any society in which freedom of personal conscience and faith is not respected. The very notion of religious freedom is what the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS] intends to eliminate and what the Iraqi people cannot surrender.

“Those Iraqis who continue to look past sect or ethnicity, the Iraqis who open their homes to those most in need and provide shelter to those seeking refuge, are among the most courageous. We call for an immediate end to the bloodshed, an inclusive democratic process and a full rejection of sectarian violence. In these troubling times, Canada calls upon Iraqis to extend grace and uphold human dignity—of Sunnis, Shia, Christians and others. And we call upon all Iraqi leaders to come together in this spirit, for the sake of the security, democracy and prosperity of the Iraqi people.”

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