Metropolitan Hilarion calls on Orthodox Christians, Muslims to unite in fight against Wahabis

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk has called on Orthodox Christians and Muslims to unite in the fight against Wahhabism.

"Wahhabism, or Salafism, is a very serious threat to our life now," Metropolitan Hilarion said on the program Church and the World on Rossiya 24 television, on which prominent Islamic theologian Farid Salman also appeared.

Metropolitan Hilarion said there is an undeclared war going on against traditional Islam in the North Caucasus and Christianity in the Middle East, which results from "one and the same thing: religious intolerance."

"It's our common problem, our common tradition, and, of course, we should fight together to be able to live in peace and accord," he said.

Metropolitan Hilarion said Wahabis are driven "by the devil, not religious beliefs."

"We are deeply saddened by the news we have been getting from various regions of our country - from Dagestan and Chechnya - on the killings of muftis and leading Islamic theologians. It's perfectly obvious that its people who are inspired by some devilish people-hating ideology. They commit these illegal and immoral acts to divide our society and destroy the religious peace that has taken centuries to create," he said.

Terrorists target people who, like Salman, "testify without fear that these persons are driven by the devil," Metropolitan Hilarion said.

"It's a true heroism of confession, which we all have to bear: we have to call things by their names, and there is no room for political correctness here," he said.

Salman, in turn, called for "a strategic union of Orthodox faith and traditional Islam in Russia," pointing out that joint efforts by the state and traditional religious institutions are needed to fight Wahhabism, which is a false teaching and "a totalitarian sect."

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