Fight injustice on a single front, Catholic priest tells Pakistanis. By Robin farnandez. PCP
03 Apr 2003
KARACHI: April 3. A former rector of the Karachi Archdiocese invited his compatriots to battle global injustice on a single front and not as separate communities in the wake of the U.S.-led war on Iraq.
"This is a time when we must not allow a human tragedy to become a religious tragedy," Fr. Archie Desouza told the private television channel Geo. " Whether we are Christians, Muslims or Hindus we must fight injustice together."
Fr. Desouza reminded the panellists on the Geo's War Room programme that Pope John Paul II had said it would be extremely disappointing if the war in Iraq was seen as a clash of civilizations. "After all the core value of our religious faiths is to accept God's infinite power," the Catholic priest said.
Alluding to the coalition soldiers, he said, "Non-Muslims must not desecrate the religious sites [of Iraqi Muslims] or their places of worship. They must show respect to all those sites." Over the past 48 hours Iraq has complained that Muslim holy sites in the cities of Najaf and Karbala were being desecrated by U.S. and British soldiers. Coalition soldiers have denied the charges.
Fr. Archie invited attention to three key issues concerning the ongoing conflict in Iraq. "First there must be adherence to the Geneva conventions. Second, the United States must realise that unilateralism isn't fair. It isn't right to ignore world opinion." he said.
"The third point to ponder is fundamentalism of any shade--Christian, Muslim or Hindu. It is this vision that obstructs the spirit of all religions. And it is this misuse of religion that we must guard against." Quoting a well-known theologian, Fr. Archie urged those fundamentalists to "let God be God and let man be man."