Kerry at Davos: Violent extremism is not Islamic, warning about Islamophobia

Members of Swiss special police forces stand on the roof of the Kongress Hotel on the eve of the opening of the 45th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Jean Christophe Bott/EPA

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Violent extremists who are killing children and others in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other parts of the world may cite Islam as a justification, but the West should be careful about calling them Islamic radicals, Secretary of State John Kerry told an audience of opinion leaders Friday at the World Economic Forum.

In a speech calling for a global effort against violent extremism, Kerry said it would be a mistake to link Islam to criminal conduct rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors.

“We have to keep our heads,” Kerry said. “The biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes…that their faith utterly rejects,” he added…

Related: Kerry calls for more resources in anti-extremist fight, warns of Islamophobia: (Reuters) – Countries must devote more resources to fight global extremism, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, but the battle would falter if it becomes consumed by sectarian division or Islamophobia.