On Wednesday, Pope Francis put Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all in the same boat.
In an impassioned address the Vicar of Christ denied the existence of Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously asserting that “the ecological crisis is real.”
“Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist. They do not exist,” Francis said in his speech to a world meeting of populist movements.
What he probably should have said is that “not all Christians are terrorists and not all Muslims are terrorists” — a fact evident to all — however, the terminology he used suggests that the hundreds of Islamic terror groups around the world do not exist.
Overlooking ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, and terrorists for the sake of political correctness will never yield good results.
“No people is criminal or drug-trafficking or violent,” Francis said, while also suggesting that terrorism the terrorism that does occur is primarily a result of “economic inequalities” rather than religious beliefs. “The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence yet, without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and will eventually explode.”
In addition, the Guardian reported that Pope Francis said it was wrong to identify Islam with violence and that social injustice and idolatry of money were among the prime causes of terrorism.
“I think it is not right to identity Islam with violence,” he told reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome after a five-day trip to Poland. “This is not right and this is not true.”
The pope was responding to a question about the killing on 26 July of an 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest during a church service in western France. The attackers forced the priest to his knees and slit his throat. The killing was claimed by Islamic State.
“I think that in nearly all religions there is a always a small fundamentalist group,” he said, adding “We have them,” referring to Catholicism.
“I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence because every day when I look at the papers I see violence here in Italy – someone killing his girlfriend, someone killing his mother-in-law. These are baptised Catholics,” he said.
“If I speak of Islamic violence, I have to speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent,” he said.
He said there were various causes of terrorism.
“I know it dangerous to say this but terrorism grows when there is no other option and when money is made a god and it, instead of the person, is put at the centre of the world economy,” he said.
“That is the first form of terrorism. That is a basic terrorism against all humanity. Let’s talk about that,” he said.
When he started the trip on Wednesday, the pope said the killing of the priest and a string of string of other attacks were proof the “world is at war” but that it was not caused by religion.
He told reporters on the plane that lack of economic opportunities for young people in Europe was also to blame for terrorism.
“I ask myself how many young people that we Europeans have left devoid of ideals, who do not have work. Then they turn to drugs and alcohol or enlist in Isis,” he said, referring to the group also known as Islamic State.
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