B’nai B’rith International on Monday condemned a reported declaration made by the Syrian-born leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Gregorios III (Laham), that recent terrorism against Christians in Arab countries was part of a “Zionist conspiracy.”
The statement was made at an archdiocesan ceremony in Lebanon meant to emphasize interreligious coexistence. “I believe it is necessary to deeply examine fundamentalism… and terrorism that are masked by religion, along with violence and disturbances against Christians here and there and on an increasing level. All this behavior has nothing to do with Islam," Gregorios said in his remarks.
“But it is actually a conspiracy planned by Zionism and some Christians with Zionist orientations and it aims at undermining and giving a bad image of Islam."
The Jewish group issued a press release in response to the statement admonishing the clergyman for his remarks. “It is outrageous and frightening that Gregorios wholly disregards the truth in making his statements,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “These sentiments expressed by a religious leader only serve to worsen interreligious relations in the already volatile situation in the Middle East.”