By Joseph Grieboski, Examiner – 26 December 2012
In a series of statements over the Christmas holiday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) demonstrated solidarity with the Christian world by condemning Christmas Eve attacks in Nigeria and strongly denouncing threats against Syrian Christians made by the Syrian “Ansar Brigade”.
Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the OIC, strongly condemned the attack by radical and extremist elements on two churches in northern Nigeria on Christmas Eve, which resulted in the deaths of at least 12 innocent civilians.
Ihsanoglu said that the OIC deplored attacks on places of worship of any faith and that acts of religious hatred and intolerance went against the basic tenets of Islam, which stood for tolerance and respect for all religious faiths and belief.
In another statement, the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation strenuously condemned a videotape attributed to the Syrian “Ansar Brigade” threatening to storm the Christian towns of Mahrada and Sqailbiyeh in northern Hama.
The Secretariat condemned threats against Syrian Christian citizens “who have equal rights to security, welfare and decent life like other compatriots of theirs regardless of their religion of race. This threat is against the teachings of Islam, which call for tolerance, brotherhood and peace and shun violence,” the statement said.
In its statement, the OIC General Secretariat warned against a slide towards a sectarian dimension in the Syrian crisis because the Syrian people are one and their country is a place where all sects and races have coexisted for ages.