Is Islam basically violent?

Pope warns against equating Islam and violence

The attack on a Catholic church in northern France caused great consternation. Pope Francis warns - also in view of the other recent attacks by radical Islamic assassins - against a fundamental rejection of Islam. "It is not right and true that Islam is violent," said the head of the Catholics on the flight from World Youth Day in Krakow to Rome. Muslims are not all violent. There is a small group of fundamentalists in almost every religion. The Pope also pointed out the potential for violence in the Christian community. "When I talk about Islamic violence, I also have to talk about Christian violence," said the Pope.

When he read the newspapers, he saw "violence in Italy every day," said Francis. "One kills his girlfriend, the other kills his mother-in-law, and they are all baptized Christians." The Pope summed up: "I do not think it is right to equate Islam with violence."

Young people with no prospects

With his statements, Francis responded to the question of why he always spoke of "terrorism" in general and never of "Islamic terrorism" during World Youth Day. The head of the church also spoke about the causes of terrorism. So religion is not the driving force behind acts of violence. Young people turned to terrorism when "they have no other options," he said. "We, many of our young Europeans, have left without ideals, without work, so that they turn to drugs and alcohol and join fundamentalist groups?" Asked the Pope.

Last week, two Islamists took hostages and murdered a priest in a church in northern France. The police shot the attackers.

wo / cr (afp, kna, dpa)