"We have lunatics in every religion" - UCC senior lecturer in Islam

Amanullah De Sondy says people need to start looking at their shared humanity

Amanullah De Sondy, UCC, senior lecturer, Islam, radicalisation, religious, France, lunatics

Dr Amanullah De Sondy | Image: UCC

A senior lecturer has said that all religious traditions have "loonies."

Dr Amanullah De Sondy, who lectures in contemporary Islam at University College Cork (UCC), was speaking about his views on the recent murder of a Catholic priest in France that was claimed in the name of ISIS.

"It's not just a shock, it's a real pain and sadness to see such a honorific act being carried out in the name of any religion," he told Newstalk Lunchtime.

"An important role that religious leaders can make at this point is to offer hope, and to make sure that different faith communities - and those that don't believe - to stop igniting this kind of hatred towards the other."

While welcoming French President Francois Hollande's meeting with religious leaders, he added: "I think we need to be realistic here - the real hard work happens at the grassroots level and it happens at an individual level and how we deal with one another."

"What can be done to make sure that we don't fuel (radicalisation) within any individual - be they a radical Muslim, Jew or Christian?," Dr De Sondy asked.

"All religious traditions have loonies - I now use it as an academic term - we have lunatics in every religion; and they are instigated by some form of manipulation of scripture."

"I think it is important that we all try to look at the deeper causes and we continually try to find ways of strengthening our bonds with each other, as opposed to using rhetoric which marginalises individuals."

"It demands of us to stop putting people into boxes, it demands of us to find the links between us and it demands that we are all united in this fight against these lunatics who are carrying out these horrific attacks against us."