If Pope Francis is very popular indeed, his statements on Islam after the attack on the Church of Saint-Etienne du Rouvray (France) has drawn strong reactions rather negative overall. If Catholics share the desire of the Holy Father to do everything for peace, they regret that he gave so much importance to Islam while the fate of Eastern Christians is too little discussed. Also, many rejected the comparison between Catholic extremism and Muslim extremism, arguing that the former does not pose lethal threat while the latter is a global challenge.
The idea of Pope Francis according to which terrorism results from inequality and lack of spirituality makes sense considering that Western countries emphasized materialism over mind. However, the analysis of terrorism in recent years showed that most of its operational agents who carried out attacks in Europe or the United States did not suffer from social inequalities.
This was actually quite the opposite with individuals who mostly benefited greatly from generous social systems of the countries they attacked, if not stable employment with public institutions. Poverty and exclusion explain only rarely contemporary terrorism which is based on deep ideological and religious grounds. It is not up to us to assess the validity of those motivations with respect to the Islam Pope Francis spoke about.
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