Vicar of Baghdad: ‘It’s not just Iraq that’s falling apart, it’s society’

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Canon Andrew White, who was the only Anglican Vicar in Iraq when the Islamic State terrorist organization rose to power in Iraq and Syria, [said] that Muslims, Christians and Jews need to work together to support the persecuted refugee communities in the Middle East and combat extremist ideologies that are causing society to “fall apart.” . . .

Canon Andrew White, right, vicar of St. George's Church in Baghdad, Iraq, is also president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

Canon Andrew White, right, vicar of St. George’s Church in Baghdad, Iraq, is also president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

“On a day after those events in California yesterday, those awful, terrible events, we realize that the destruction of religion is not just over there, [in the Middle East], it’s here where you are,” White contended. “What we are seeing going on, what we saw in Paris, what we saw yesterday in California, is, as far as I am concerned, the beginning of the third world war. It’s unlike any concept of war we may have had before. Society is falling apart. It’s not just Iraq that is broken — It is society.” . . .

White … said that some Sunni Muslims in Iraq were driven to extremism because they felt as though they have been marginalized. “Every terrorist group has lost something,” White said. “These people were in Al-Anbar, were in Ramadi and Fallujah, and they lost any significance under the Maliki regime. … And so, when Maliki fell, they fought back and they have fought to show they have power. How do they show they have power? By blowing up people and killing them.” . . .

“I want to make that clear, as the world goes on about how evil Islam is, whether you like it or not, my biggest partner is Muslim and we have to work together, not against each other,” he said. White explained that one of his most important partners working in Kurdistan to support the persecuted refugee Christian community is a Muslim dentist named Dr. Sarah Ahmed, who is the executive director of White’s Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

“She is there protecting all of the Iraqi Christians. You never hear anything about it in the news but you hear about the work I am doing. The work that I am doing is being done by a Muslim caring for the Christians,” White stated.

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