• PERSIAN GULF \ Apr 17, 2003
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    Muslim League warns Christian body over Iraq relief
Muslim League warns Christian body over Iraq relief "Non-Muslim organisations are preparing to enter Iraq to start their activity under the cover of providing humanitarian aid, as they normally exploit crises, wars and tragedies," Secretary General Abdullah al-Turki charged.

Turki warned of "the dangers this poses to Muslims in Iraq" and called on the Iraqi people to adhere to Islam and to stay away from "ethnic and sectarian feuds".

He also appealed to Arab and Muslim countries and organisations to provide all possible aid to the Iraqi people and help them safeguard their territorial unity and cultural and Islamic heritage.

Iraq is an overwhelmingly Muslim country, with members of the Shiite sect making up around 60 percent of the population of about 24 million.

However, it is also home to a Christian minority numbering around 250,000.

Recently, in an interview with the religiously oriented web site Beliefnet, Franklin Graham, son of the world-famous evangelist Billy Graham and one of the most outspoken US critics of Islam, said he has relief workers 'poised and ready' to go into Iraq to provide for the populations post-war physical and spiritual needs.

Graham, who has publicly called Islam a 'wicked' religion, said his 'Samaritans Purse' relief agency is in daily contact with US government agencies in Amman, Jordan, about its plans.

Its main objective is to help refugees and people who have lost their homes or are sick and hungry as a result of the war, Graham told Beliefnet.

"We realise were in an Arab country and we just cant go out and preach," Graham said. However, he added: "I believe as we work, God will always give us opportunities to tell others about his Son. We are there to reach out to love them and to save them, and as a Christian I do this in the name of Jesus Christ."