CALIFORNIA – As the world grapples with the impact of President Trump’s Muslim ban, Pope Francis stressed that no religion is terrorist, adding that the claimed “Muslim terrorism” does not exist.
“Christian terrorism does not exist, Jewish terrorism does not exist, and Muslim terrorism does not exist,” the pontiff said in a welcome letter read aloud at a meeting of grassroots political movements in California, Daily Mail reported on Saturday, February 18.
Pope Francis insisted in the letter to the conference in Modesto that there are “violent individuals in all peoples and religions”.
Insisting that he was not talking about someone in particular, his speech is likely to be interpreted as a critique of President Trump’s immigration policy.
“Intolerant generalizations” would only make these people stronger because they feed on hate and xenophobia, the Pope added.
“Do not classify others in order to see who is a neighbor and who is not,” the pope said.
“You can become neighbor to whomever you meet in need, and you will do so if you have compassion in your heart.”
The session on racism was attended by more than 600 clergy and social justice activists.
The comments come as German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed on Saturday, February 18, that the Islamic faith is not the cause of terrorism.
Merkel also urged members of the Muslim clergy to fight back against a “false” interpretation of the religion, which leads some to unjustifiably perpetrate acts of violence in its name.