- Pope Francis defended Islam, said it is wrong to say it is inherently violent
- He said all religions have fundamentalists groups operating within them
- He also said social injustice and the world’s materialism a bigger cause of terrorism
With Europe rocked with ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in the past months, Pope Francis said it is not right for people to think Islam as an inherently violent religion.
“I think it is not right to identity Islam with violence,” he told Reuters. “This is not right and this is not true.”
According to the Pontiff, all religions — including Roman Catholicism — have radical fundamentalists who employ violence.
“I think that in nearly all religions there is a always a small fundamentalist group. We have them,” he said.
“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 baptized Catholics,” he added. “If I speak of Islamic violence, I have to speak of Catholic violence. Not all Muslims are violent.”
Bigger Cause of Terrorism
Pope Francis also said more than religion, social injustice and the world’s materialism have spurred many to become radicals out of a sense of hopelessness.
“I know it’s 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 center of the world economy,” he said.
In particular, the pope pointed to the situation of young Europeans who were not taught the right values and have been neglected by society.
“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.