STRASBOURG, October 2 (RIA Novosti), Daria Chernyshova – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has adopted on Thursday a resolution on threats posed by the Islamic State (IS) group and condemned the violence against Christians and other religious or ethnic communities.
"The Parliamentary Assembly is deeply shocked by the threats posed by the terrorist group known as "IS" ("Daish" in Arabic), which has been wreaking death and destruction throughout northern Iraq and eastern Syria," the resolution said.
"It draws attention once again to the situation of Christian and other religious and ethnic communities in the Middle East in general and in Iraq and Syria in particular. Recent developments in the region, in particular the attitude of the "IS", have made the situation of such communities evolve from alarming to desperate," it stressed.
The assembly noted in the resolution that in some places currently controlled by the Islamic State, those communities have already disappeared.
The document also stressed that the Islamic State is not acting "in the name of Islam nor do they represent a majority of Muslims."
"Indeed, a substantial number of victims are Muslims. Therefore, it welcomes the mobilization of the Muslim community against the actions of 'IS'," it was noted.
A debate on the Islamic State preceded the adoption of the resolution. The delegates underlined the threats posed by the rise of Islamic fundamentalist groups in the Middle East.
The rapporteur on the issue and author of the resolution, Greek delegate to PACE Theodora Bakoyannis noted that the rise of IS insurgency and Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East had taken the West and Europe by surprise. The backlash of US military intervention in the region has been equally underestimated, she said.
PACE delegates urged the international community to take a concerted effort to combat the threats coming from the Islamic State and condemned all acts of violence.
PACE "firmly believes that the first priority should be to stop the ongoing massacres and that member States of the Council of Europe should do their utmost to contribute to bringing peace to the region."
British delegate to PACE Mike Hancock warned that the Islamic State "will move across Africa if we are not careful."
The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a Sunni extremist group which has seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria, prompting US President Barack Obama to create an anti-IS coalition to conduct airstrikes against IS positions in Syria, while also continuing air raids against IS targets in Iraq.