ROME – On his flight back to Rome after visiting Turkey, the Roman Catholic Pontiff known as Pope Francis told reporters that Islam should not be equated with terrorism and violence–a statement that some may disagree with considering the teachings of the religion.
“On Islamophobia, it is true that when one sees these terrorist acts, not only in this region, but also in Africa, there is this reaction [of], ‘If this is Islam, I am going to get angry,’” he said. “And so many Islamic people are offended.”
“Many, many [Muslims] say, ‘No, we are not this. The Koran is a book of peace. It is a prophetic book of peace. That (terrorism) is not Islam,” Francis continued.
He posited that Islamic leaders should speak out against terrorism to dispel any negatives perceptions about the religion.
“There are these small (radical or terrorist) groups,” the pontiff stated. “It would be a good thing if all Muslim leaders, whether they be political or religious leaders, say clearly that they condemn that because this would help the majority of the Muslim people to say no.”
Francis asserted that it is wrong to consider Islam a terrorist religion, and compared it to considering all Christians to be “fundamentalists.”
Written by Heather Clark
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