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UK News

Archbishop warns Islam to accept Islamic State is based on religion

by Antony Bushfield

Most Rev Justin Welby said those who say IS is "nothing to do with Islam" are making it "incredibly difficult, probably impossible, to overcome".

The clergyman was speaking at the Catholic Institute of Paris during a ceremony in which he was awarded an honorary doctorate.

He told the gathered the world had to accepted that faith was a motive for most forms of terrorism and to deny this would make it impossible to tackle.

"If we treat religiously-motivated violence solely as a security issue, or a political issue, then it will be incredibly difficult, probably impossible, to overcome it," he warned.

He added: "A theological voice needs to be part of the response, and we should not be bashful in offering that.

"This requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that ISIS is 'nothing to do with Islam', or that Christian militia in the Central African Republic are nothing to do with Christianity, or Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in South India is nothing to do with Hinduism.

"Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution."

Religious leaders had a duty, he said, to promote a peaceful view of their faith rather than just prevent 'bad' religion.

During his speech Archbishop Justin also attacked the European Union for its treatment of Greece during the country's debt crisis.

He said it had been "urged to enter the Eurozone on essentially a false prospectus" that meant "the poor of an entire nation have been put effectively into involuntary bankruptcy".

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