Reactions to the leaked video unveiled some of the tension in Islamic-Christian relations as well as other religious minorities — tension that reached a critical stage after the Islamic State (IS) took over more areas of Iraq since June 2014, persecuted religious minorities and committed crimes against humanity, such as genocide in Sinjar as well as other areas in the governorate of Ninevah.
Ammar al-Hakim, head of the predominately Shiite National Alliance, invited leaders of Iraqi minorities in addition to Musawi for a meeting on May 17 to discuss and solve the issue. The meeting emphasized the necessity of stopping hate speech against all Iraqi groups.
In a conversation with Al-Monitor on how to confront the discourse of hatred, Patriarch Sako called for the establishment of a national council for religions or a national committee on religious dialogue through which united stands could be taken on the level of religious leadership “to avoid division and create a culture of dialogue of which we are in the direst need, especially in times as difficult as these, which are devastating the people of our nation.”
Concerning Musawi, his conversation with Al-Monitor revealed that the video was from a theological lecture, which is “practically far from the present,” as he was addressing the provisions of enslavement in Islam — which are “from the past and are no longer considered in the present.”
Musawi added that leaking the video was supported by parties that stand against establishing pillars of Islamic-Christian coexistence, especially after several Christian, Yazidi and other minority areas were freed from IS in a stand that seemed united against the extremist organization. Consequently, and according to Musawi, there is a suspicious purpose behind hindering the rebuilding of trust between components of a post-IS Iraq.