STRASBOURG – Amid increasing Islamophobia, the Dalai Lama has stressed that conflating Islam with terrorism is unfounded and irrational, arguing that those orchestrating terrorist attacks are fundamentally at odds with Islam.
“‘Muslim terrorist’: That wording is wrong,” the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said in his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Pakistan Today reported on Sunday, September 18.
The Dalai Lama has been in Europe this week where he called for talks with Isis, or the so-called Islamic State.
“Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim, because it is a Muslim teaching that once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam,” the Dalai Lama said.
“All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline — all religious traditions,” he continued.
The Dalai Lama’s remarks come in the same week as the Muslim holy holiday of `Eid al-Adha and the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks coincided.
The comments also come as Islamaphobia has reached unprecedented level since 9/11, which many Muslim groups blame on hateful rhetoric by Republican candidate for US presidency, Donald Trump.
Last week, a traditionally dressed Muslim woman was set on fire in a possible hate crime in New York City.
Also this month, a Brooklyn woman punched two Muslim women in the face and tried to rip off their hijabs.