Dalai Lama: Dialogue with ISIS vital, there is no other way

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The Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader. File photo

ARA News 

DUHOK – Extremists of the Islamic State group (ISIS) are harming Islam through their brutality and intolerance; However, “dialogue” with the group seems vital, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said on Monday.

“Islam is a religion of peace. Those who are intolerant harm their own faith and their own brothers,” he said in an interview with the Italian daily La Stampa.

Speaking in India’s Bangalore on the sidelines of a seminar on economy and peace, the Tibetan spiritual leader stressed: “There has to be dialogue, even with ISIS.” 

The Dalai Lama added that dialogue with ISIS could be achieved “through dialogue”. 

“Through dialogue. One has to listen, to understand, to have respect for the other person, regardless. There is no other way.”

In the meantime, the U.S.-led coalition and Russia intensified their airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria, killing at least 35 militants only on Sunday. On the other hand, the group had claimed responsibility for several terror attacks abroad. 

The Dalai Lama’s appeal to the international community to hold dialogue with ISIS comes two days after the Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Yves Daccord, said they have been trying to establish relations with ISIS’s leadership in a bid to deliver humanitarian aid to civilians stranded in the war-torn ISIS-held areas in the region. 

“Yes, we are of course looking at building a relationship (with ISIS). We have a very clear humanitarian vision. First, what we see is 10 million people. Ten million people under the control of the Islamic State group. We are interested in these 10 million people. What happens to them? What are their problems? This is what will guide us,” Daccord stressed. 

Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri 

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