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Cardinal says terrorists deserve no sympathy

"Only by cutting off the support of terrorists and starving them of the oxygen of sympathy will extremism be defeated forever," says the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell.

As extremists account for just a tiny proportion of society, all faiths need to come together and renounce those who advocate doctrines of intolerance and violence, he told the Catholic Weekly.

Cardinal Pell said he was also deeply concerned and alarmed about the stereotyping of religious groups because of the actions of a few radicals.

"We have to oppose terrorists but that does not mean we should tar everybody with the same brush just because of a small minority," he said.

Combating terror requires more than just a security response, he said. It also involves winning a battle of hearts and minds.

He warned religious leaders not to allow the recent groundbreaking Dialogue on Interfaith Co-operation, which he attended in Indonesia, to go down in history as a mere "talking shop".

Instead, he said the first Australia-Indonesian Government organised event should act as an opportunity to promote understanding and foster harmony between faith communities.

"Around 125 religious representatives from 10 different faiths from ASEAN countries, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and East Timor gathered for the dialogue and we need to ensure that this will not be a NATO(No Action, Talking Only) event," he told the Weekly.

"I hope that the Interfaith Dialogue will be the beginning of a process of more direct and frequent communication between regional faith leaders in solving problems and building a more harmonious and peaceful future for the region."

'Starve terrorists of the oxygen of sympathy' (Catholic Weekly 15/12/04)

Archdiocese of Sydney
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils
Affinity Intercultural Federation
Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty

Pell's 'slur' hastening Muslim-Christian dialogue (CathNews 18/11/04)
Pell comments portrayed as anti-Muslim slur (CathNews 15/11/04)
Pell says Islam could be the new communism (CathNews 12/11/04)

Inter-Faith Meeting (Sunday Telegraph 12/12/04)
'Church growth centred on Jesus' (Catholic Weekly 14/11/04)
Muslim leader rejects Pell's comments (National Nine News/AAP 13/11/04)
Communism slur upsets Muslims (The Age 12/11/04)
Islam is the new communism: Pell (ABC Radio PM 12/11/04)
Terry Lane: Cardinal sins against democracy (The Age 14/11/04)
Democracy must change to counter Islam: Pell (The Age 12/11/04)
Why we need a better version of democracy (The Age 12/11/04)
Islam could be new communism, Pell tells US audience (Sydney Morning Herald 12/11/04)
Towards a transformative democracy founded on dignity (Sydney Morning Herald 12/11/04)
Cardinal Pell on Secular Democracy's Bluff - Is There Only Secular Democracy? (Zenit 23/10/04)

15 Dec 2004