By Nick Gutteridge | Express
ON THE WEB, 8 December 2015
The Dalai Lama faced fierce criticism today after he said that the only way to defeat Islamic State (ISIS) is to negotiate a peace with them.
The spiritual leader raised eyebrows when he insisted that the West “must engage in dialogue with ISIS” and said leaders should still “have respect” for the terror group despite its sickening crimes against humanity.
In a controversial interview the world’s most prominent Buddhist — characterised as a religion of peace — said education and not war is the key to defeating the jihadi movement.
But his comments were savagely criticised in some quarters, with people suggesting the holy leader should be sent to negotiate with ISIS himself.
Speaking to Italian newspaper La Stampa, the Dalai Lama also praised Germany for taking in record numbers of refugees despite strong criticism of Angela Merkel’s open-door policy.
Asked how ISIS can be defeated, he replied: “Through dialogue. You have to listen, understand, still have respect for others. There is no other way.”
He then added: ”We must do it with your heart. Be compassionate. Educate. Germany has been very generous to accept refugees, feed them and dress them, but now will have to educate them.”
“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, the intolerant damage their beliefs and their brothers.”
But the comments were widely criticised on social media, where users accused the spiritual leader of failing to grasp the severity of the threat posed by ISIS.
One Twitter user fumed: “Yes, let’s send the Dalai Lama to ISIS as an ambassador, then.”
Nicholas Jackson wrote: “ISIS will see your dialogue and raise you an AK-47.”
Diogo Maia tweeted a picture of jihadis barbarically killing prisoners by lowering them into fires, adding: “Lets go, Dalai Lama. We can ‘dialogue’ with ISIS at this barbecue.”
Another user, Rob Kent, branded the spiritual leader a “terrorist sympathiser”, presumably as a response to David Cameron’s blistering attack against opponents of Syrian airstrikes.
It is not the first time the Dalai Lama has landed in hot water over controversial comments.
In September it emerged that the spiritual leader once said his successor could only be a woman if they were “very attractive” otherwise they would be “not much use”.
Critics have also savaged writings in which he equates abortion to murder and calls homosexuality a sin and a crime, whilst noting that he appears to significantly change his tone when talking to Western audiences.
Last week MPs voted in favour of extending RAF airstrikes against ISIS to Syria, meaning Britain has joined a growing US-led coalition aiming to wipe out the evil jihadis.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is also carrying out his own bombing campaign against the terrorists, who have suffered significant losses in recent months.