Pope Francis: ‘I Do Not Believe It Is Right to Identify Islam with Violence’

Pope Francis has questioned the claim that Islam should be identified with violence, in contrast to the Islamic State militant group, which he says is a fundamentalist sect of the religion.

“I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence,” the Pope told journalists during the July 31 papal flight to Rome following his apostolic journey to Poland. “This is not right and it is not true.”

“I don’t like to speak about Islamic violence,” the Pope said, taking into account that one sees violence every day in the newspapers, even at the hands of baptized Catholics.

“There are violent Catholics!” he said. “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.”

The Pope expressed his belief that every religion has its fundamentalist groups, including Catholicism.

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