The Wall Street Journal: Pope Francis blames global economy, not Islam, for terrorism

ROME — Pope Francis said the inspiration for terrorism wasn’t Islam but a world economy that worshiped the “god of money” and drove the disenfranchised to violence.

“Terrorism grows when there is no other option, and as long as the world economy has at its center the god of money and not the person, “ the pope told reporters late Sunday as he returned to the Vatican from a five-day visit in Poland. “This is fundamental terrorism, against all humanity.”

Speaking on his flight from Krakow, the pope was responding to a question about possible links between Islam and recent terrorist attacks, particularly the killing on Tuesday of a priest in northern France by followers of Islamic State.

Pope Francis suggested that the social and economic marginalization of Muslim youth in Europe helped explain the actions of those who joined extremist groups. “How many youths have we Europeans left empty of ideals? They don’t have work, and they turn to drugs and alcohol. They go [abroad] and enroll in fundamentalist groups,” the pope said.

His own experience in interreligious dialogue had shown him that Muslims seek “peace and encounter,” he said. “It is not right and it is not just to say that Islam is terroristic.” And he added that no religion had a monopoly of violent members.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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