In a new interview, Pope Francis said he fears there are “very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world,” including such an alliance between the United States and Russia.
Pope Francis told his interviewer, the Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, that he was worried about the G20 summit, which brings together leaders from 20 of the largest economies in the world, along with finance ministers and central bank governors.
“I’m afraid that there are very dangerous alliances between powers who have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Putin and Assad in the war in Syria,” Francis reportedly said.
The Pope said that his greatest concern was the “danger for immigration.”
“As you know well, the main problem in today’s world—which is unfortunately growing—is that of the poor, the weak, and the excluded,” Francis said, “of which immigrants form part.”
“On the other hand there are countries where the majority of the poor do not come from migratory flows but from social disasters; others have few local poor but fear the invasion of migrants,” he continued.
“That’s why the G20 worries me: it primarily affects immigrants from countries all over the world and affects them even more as time goes on.”
Asked for his views on underlying causes driving mass migration, Francis said that the primary reason behind contemporary migration is economic.
“Make no mistake, poor nations are drawn to the continents and countries of ancient wealth,” he said, “especially Europe.”
“Colonialism began in Europe. There were positive aspects of colonialism, but also negative. Nonetheless, Europe grew richer, the richest in the world. It will therefore be the main target of migratory peoples,” he said.
In the interview, Scalfari expressed his own opinion to the Pope regarding the future of Europe, stressing the need for Europe to take on a federal structure, an opinion shared by the pontiff.
European nations will move “if they realize one truth,” Francis said, “either Europe becomes a federal community or it will no longer count for anything in the world.”
Since his election as Pope, Francis has granted a number of interviews to Scalfari, an atheist and co-founder of the Italian daily, La Repubblica. The journalist allegedly does not record their conversations but publishes the interviews from memory.
Nevertheless, to date the Pope has never taken back anything that Scalfari has written, and nor has he stopped granting him interviews, which had led observers to conclude that he is pleased with what Scalfari writes.
Saudi Arabia is known for its notorious religious police, the Mutaween, but now a German newspaper is reporting public enforcers of Islamic law are active in the heart of Europe.
Muslim immigrant women who have adopted a Western lifestyle are particular targets of gangs of Muslim men in certain parts of Germany who have emigrated in the past three years from the Muslim-majority Russian state of Chechnya, including Berlin, reports Der Taggespiegel.
A video of an armed man in a hood began circulating in the Chechen community in March.
“Here, in Europe, certain Chechen women and men who look like women do unspeakable things. You know it; I know it; everybody knows it,” he declared, according to the Latvia-based Russian language news aggregator Meduza.
He said Chechen women “who flirt with men of other ethnic groups and marry them, Chechen women who have chosen the wrong path and those [creatures] who call themselves Chechen men – given half a chance, we will set all of them straight.”
“Having sworn on the Quran, we go out onto the streets. This is our declaration of intent; do not say that you were not warned; do not say that you did not know.”
Meduza interviewed a woman who was targeted after the Shariah enforcers videoed her walking down the street with a non-Chechen man. When the gang showed up at her door, she hid, but the man was brutally beaten, losing almost all of his teeth.
“Why does my private life concern [them] at all?” the woman asked, according to Meduza. “I don’t know them. I don’t want to. I’m not their sister or daughter. My private life is no one else’s business.”
Meduza said that according to her and other Chechens, “transgressors” of the moral code include Chechen girls who attend German schools, where the curricula include classes on sexual education and the German language courses, and where the Muslim immigrants meet people of other cultures.
An estimated 36,000 Chechens have entered Germany over the past five years.
In East London from 2013 to 2014, a group of young Sunni Muslim men patrolled the streets calling identifying themselves as part of the “Shariah Project.”
Two members were convicted of harassment in November 2013. In one incident, the group shouted “Kill the non-believers” at men drinking beer in the street, before a member attacked them.
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