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Belgian primate cautions against hatred of Islam

March 28, 2016

The people of Belgium remain in a state of “shock” and “anguish” following the recent terrorist attacks, but political leaders are not vengeful, Archbishop Jozef De Kesel of Mechelen-Brussels said in an interview.

“In the speeches and comments in the media on the part of politicians, there is no call to hatred or revenge,” he said. “There is the feeling that we are all victims, even the Muslim community.”

The prelate, however, warned of the “current risk” of “hatred” of Islam—something, he said, that the terrorists wish to provoke. He called for prayer and for commitment to “a more fraternal society, with more solidarity, built on respect for the other: these are Gospel values.”


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  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Mar. 29, 2016 8:31 AM ET USA

    If, as the Archbishop says, "we are all victims, even the Muslim community," then that community ought to condemn Islamic terrorism much more loudly and strongly and convincingly than it has done so far. In the US during WWII, many people "hated" Japanese-Americans, and how did THAT community react? Its young men joined the US Army and formed the 442nd Infantry Regiment, which became the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare.

  • Posted by: feedback - Mar. 28, 2016 9:21 AM ET USA

    Belgian Archbishop seems to be confusing Islam with Islamic terrorism. The persistent and growing problem is Islamic terrorism that targets indiscriminately innocent random victims, like the ones in Brussels, or in the Boston Marathon, or in many other places around the world. For a civilized Western person it is impossible to justify the mindset and the actions of allegedly devout adherents of a "mainstream religion" who believe in going to Heaven for a random mass murder of innocent people.