IN times of tumult such as these, it takes sagacity and courage to rise above the clamour and appeal to people’s common humanity.
In Europe, where the past few weeks have witnessed horrific violence, much of it perpetrated in the name of Islam, it was heartening to see voices raised and gestures made over the weekend to bring people together, instead of tearing them apart.
For example, the statements made by Pope Francis upon his return from Poland reflect a desire for inclusivity rather than ostracism. The pontiff said it was unfair to equate Islam with terrorism, observing that “it’s not right and it’s not true”.
He added that the militant Islamic State group was “not Islam”. Elsewhere, in several churches across France and Italy, including the famed Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Muslims attended Catholic Mass in solidarity.
This gesture came in the aftermath of the brutal slaying of an elderly French priest in a town near Rouen last week by two Muslim extremists.