While at a peace seminar in Bangalore on Monday, the Dalai Lama stressed the importance of an open dialogue with ISIS, and when asked how this could possibly be achieved, the Tibetan spiritual leader responded: “Through dialogue. One has to listen, to understand, to have respect for the other person, regardless. There is no other way.”
He went on to say, “Every man has his own religion and its truth, but in a community there must be so many religions and so many truths. Islam is a religion of peace.”
Yet, according to the Independent, ISIS caliph Abu al-Bagdhadi respectfully disagrees with His Holiness, saying in the past, “Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war.”
The Dalai Lama’s words resounded like a shot heard around the world. Some took to Twitter to express their disgust for his call for dialogue, labeling the spiritual figure as a “terrorist sympathizer.”
Of course, Chinese official have also taken the occasion to denounce the PRC’s least favorite world figure. “By saying, ‘listen, understand and respect’ them, it exposes, in his very bones, his sympathy or endorsement for ISIS,” said Zhu Weiqun, the chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to China’s parliament, according to the Daily Star.
This call for dialogue came the very same day that ISIS happened to reach out to China by releasing a song in Mandarin to appeal to potential Chinese recruits. Meanwhile, Beijing and the Dalai Lama remain embroiled in a peculiar feud over whether he will be reincarnated or not and while you’d think that the relationship between the two parties couldn’t possibly get any worse, an “open dialogue” between His Holiness and the Islamic State might just do it.
By Mary DeMay