“It is not Islam that is the source of terrorism. But a falsely understood Islam,” said Merkel.
“Islam is not the source of “terrorism” and cooperating with predominantly Muslim states in the fight against it is vital,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday in Munich.
Merkel, who has been contradicting with US President Donald Trump’s attempt to impose a temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, spoke at the Munich Security Conference with US Vice President Mike Pence in the audience.
“I think, those countries, first and foremost have to give a contribution. Because only in this way we would be able to convince people that it is not Islam that is the source of terrorism. But a falsely understood Islam,” she said.
“I expect from religious authorities of Islam to find strong language in order to delimitate peaceful Islam from terrorism committed in the name of Islam. We as non-Muslims cannot do this, it should be done by Islamic clergy and authorities,” she added.
“Europe’s ties with Russia remain challenging, but it is important to work with Russia in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS) and similar groups,” Merkel added.
“Acting together strengthens everyone,” said Merkel. “We must see that the multilateral structures are in many places not efficient enough.
“I am firmly convinced that it is worth fighting for our common international multilateral structures, but we must improve them in many places.”
Pence said Trump would stand by NATO and no one should doubt his commitment after the sacrifices made to defend it.
“The president asked me to be here today to convey a message, a reassurance – the US strongly supports NATO and we will be unwavering in our commitment to this transatlantic alliance,” Pence said. “Let no one doubt our commitment.”
The fact that Merkel spoke about ISIL and Boko Haram and the need to consign these people to history shows leaders here are in earnest about how they deal with the problem.
“The question is about what policy will emerge from this. Is it likely this conference will arrive at a meaningful policy which will deal with these groups? That’s a much more difficult question to answer.”