In Wake of Paris and San Bernardino Terror, Vicar of Baghdad Proclaims Beginning of Third World War

Vicar of Baghdad proclaims beginning of Third World War following terror attacks.
Vicar of Baghdad proclaims beginning of Third World War following terror attacks. (Reuters)

The Vicar of Baghdad believes the recent terrorist attacks in France and California are not only signs that society is falling apart but of the "beginning of the third world war."

Following last week's terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, Canon Andrew White, who was the only Anglican Vicar in Iraq when the Islamic State rose to power in Iraq and Syria, said the "awful, terrible events" mean the "destruction of religion is not just over there, (in the Middle East), it's here where you are."

"What we are seeing going on, what we saw in Paris, what we saw (Wednesday) in California, is, as far as I am concerned, the beginning of the third world war," White said. "It's unlike any concept of war we may have had before. Society is falling apart. It's not just Iraq that is broken—it is society."

White's remarks follow the assault last week in San Bernardino by a heavily armed husband and wife that killed 14 people and wounded 21.

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In an article in the World Tribune, White called on Muslims, Christians and Jews to work together to support persecuted refugees in the Middle East and fight extremist ideologies that are causing society to "fall apart."

White said some Sunni Muslims in Iraq are driven to extremism because they believe they have been marginalized.

"Every terrorist group has lost something," White said. "These people were in Al-Anbar, were in Ramadi and Fallujah, and they lost any significance under the Maliki regime. ... And so, when Maliki fell, they fought back and they have fought to show they have power. How do they show they have power? By blowing up people and killing them."

As the world extols "how evil Islam is," White said his biggest partners are Muslims, and Christians and Jews need to "work together, not against each other."

White spoke about a partner working in Kurdistan to support the persecuted refugee Christian community. She is a Muslim dentist named Dr. Sarah Ahmed who serves as the executive director of White's Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

"She is there protecting all of the Iraqi Christians," White said. "You never hear anything about it in the news, but you hear about the work I am doing. The work that I am doing is being done by a Muslim caring for the Christians."

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