In Wake of Paris Terror Attacks, Catholic Missionary Reaches Out to 'Muslim Friends'

Says Even If Our Understanding of God Is Different, We Are to Have Common Mission of Dialogue, Peace

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In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris last week, an Asian missionary is reaching out to the Muslim community, saying how disgusting it is that some kill in the name of God.

In an open letter addressed to Muslim friends, missionary Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, founder of the movement «Silsilah» for Islamic-Christian dialogue, in the southern Philippines, said: «We know how much you are suffering, dear Muslim friends, in seeing terrorism practiced in different parts of the world in the name of Islam and in the name of Allah,» reported Fides.

In the letter, the missionary notes: «You are not the only ones who are suffering, once again, for this act of terrorism perpetrated in the name of your religion.»

He said how he remembered the pages of history when similar things in the name of the Catholic faith happened and that fortunately, those days are over.

“Even Christians today do terrible things, but not in the name of their religion or in the name of God,” he said, noting, “They are doing it in the name of another ‘god’ who is the god of money and the god of power.»

Muslims, the priest said, believe in the message of mercy and compassion and lamented that «the spiritual elements of Islam and many Islamic traditions today are not fully appreciated.»

He also decried how some «sectors or groups are trying to destroy Islam in the name of Islam.»

He asked: «What has become of the message of mercy and compassion we read in almost all the verses of the Holy Quran? …What can we do together?»

Recalling the experience of «Silsilah,» which insists on a dialogue that begins «from a spiritual dimension» and «starts from God and leads people to God,” the missionary noted that as a Catholic, he believes “that today Christians and Muslims have a common mission, to work together for the common good built on the centrality of God.”

“Even if our understanding of God is different,” he stressed, “we must pray, we have to carry out acts of solidarity, we have to respect all, we have to take care of the earth, together in order to live and witness a mission of dialogue and peace.”

On Jan. 7, two Islamic extremists armed with guns stormed the offices of the satirical magazine «Charlie Hebdo» in Paris, opened fire, and murdered 12.

It is believed the attack was in retaliation of the magazine’s caricatures of the prophet Mohammad.

Before the attacks, a cartoon of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been tweeted.

The Pope, the Holy See and the bishops’ conference of France all made statements condemning the attack.  

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