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The Baghdad Religious Accord
24th February 2004


In the name of God who is Almighty, Merciful and Compassionate,

We who have gathered as clerics, intellectuals and political leaders representing all religions and doctrines, pray and appeal for the peace of Iraq and declare our commitment to doing all in our power to ensure the ending all acts of violence and bloodshed that deny the right to life, freedom and dignity. “We have dignified man” (a verse from the Holy Quran).

According to our faith traditions killing innocents in the name of God is a desecration of the laws of heaven and defames religion not only in Iraq but in the world.

We also declare to the world at large that:

1. The acts of corruption, violence and destruction are the work of the devil that must be opposed by all as we seek together to rebuild our nation.

2. We as Iraqis from different traditions have decided to endeavour to live together as one family respecting the moral and religious integrity of every individual and we call upon all to condemn and renounce the culture of incitement, hatred and the demonization of the other.

3. The land of Iraq is holy in all scriptures. Therefore it is a duty for the followers of all divine religions to respect the sanctity of our land whose good soil must not be desecrated by bloodshed.

4. The sanctity of all our places of worship and religious sites must be protected and preserved by all. The freedom of religious worship and expression must be guaranteed for all. “No coercion in religion” (a verse from the Holy Quran).

5. We call on the political leaders in Iraq to work for a just, fair and peaceful transfer to democracy, inspired by the divinely inspired commandments of messengers and prophets.

6. We call on and urge the international community in the name of religion to assist us in the reconstruction of Iraq away from violence and chaos.

7. We shall endeavour to the establishment of a process of truth, openness and reconciliation which will enable the spiritual, political and physical reconstruction of Iraq.

8. We shall devote ourselves to continue our joint efforts for the unity of the people of Iraq and for the creation of a climate of togetherness in which our present and future generations may live with mutual trust and respect. We shall also educate our present the future generations accordingly to maintain this commitment.

9. We as clerics and intellectuals recommend that those involved in politics and Government do not to slide down the slippery slope of sectarian politics, which has resulted in our present situation; the absence of nationhood and the importation of alternative culture. Rule should be based on good citizenship and competence Governed by a system of rights and obligations irrespective of national, religious or racial affiliation.

10. We hereby announce the founding of the Iraqi Centre for Dialogue, Reconciliation and Peace (ICDRP), whose membership will be from the people of Iraq and which will take a lead to ensure that the tenets of this accord are continually implemented.


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