Vatican urges Muslim leaders to condemn Islamic 'barbarity' in Iraq, says credibility at stake

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The Vatican is urging Muslim leaders to denounce the "barbarity" of the Islamic State's attacks against Christians and other minorities in Iraq, saying their credibility is on the line.

The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which deals with the Muslim world, said Tuesday that the forced expulsions and massacres of Christians shamed humanity and couldn't be justified by any religion.

The office said the "unspeakable criminal acts" — the beheading, crucifying and hanging of bodies in public places, the "barbaric practice of infibulation," the abduction of women and girls as spoils of war, and the destruction of Christian religious symbols — required a "clear and courageous stance on the part of religious leaders, especially Muslims."

It added: "If not, what credibility will religions, their followers and their leaders have?"