February 18, 2017, 6:01 pm
German chancellor tells Munich conference that Muslim clergy must fight back against ‘false’ reading of their religion
The Islamic faith is not the cause of terrorism, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday, and urged members of the Muslim clergy to fight back against a “false” interpretation of the religion that permits acts of violence to be carried out in its name.
Arguing for Muslim states to cooperate with the rest of the world to stamp out terror, the chancellor told an international security conference in Munich that this is the only way to persuade non-Muslims that the religion is one of peace.
“I think, those countries, first and foremost have to give a contribution. Because only in this way we would be able to convince people that it is not Islam that is the source of terrorism. But a falsely understood Islam,” Merkel said, according to Al Jazeera.
“I expect from religious authorities of Islam to find strong language in order to delimitate peaceful Islam from terrorism committed in the name of Islam. We as non-Muslims cannot do this, it should be done by Islamic clergy and authorities,” she said.
Merkel previously denounced “Islamist terrorism” as the greatest challenge facing Germany, and called on her fellow citizens to hold firm to democratic values in the face of jihadist terror.
Nevertheless, she defended her decision in September 2015 to let in tens of thousands fleeing war from mostly Arab and Muslim nations.Speaking in her New Year’s address delivered less than two weeks after a Tunisian suspect rammed a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people, Merkel acknowledged it was “bitter and sickening” that the attack and others in July were carried out by asylum seekers.
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