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#Alternative: So this is how the Dalai Lama would handle Islamic State.

The Dalai Lama greets Norwegian school children, prior a meeting in Oslo Tuesday, May 23, 2000. The Dalai Lama arrived on May 22, for a two day visit to Norway. (AP Photo/Cornelius Poppe/Scanpix)
The Dalai Lama greets Norwegian school children, prior a meeting in Oslo Tuesday, May 23, 2000. The Dalai Lama arrived on May 22, for a two day visit to Norway. (AP Photo/Cornelius Poppe/Scanpix)

The Islamic State (IS) group harms Islam through its intolerance, but “dialogue” with the militants is vital, the Dalai Lama said in an interview reported on Monday by the Italian daily La Stampa.

“Islam is a religion of peace. Those who are intolerant harm their own faith and their own brothers,” the Tibetan spiritual leader was quoted as saying in Bangalore, southern India, where he took part in a seminar on peace and the economy.

Even so, “there has to be dialogue, with IS as well,” the Dalai Lama said, in remarks reported in Italian.

Asked how this should be achieved, he replied, “Through dialogue.  One has to listen, to understand, to have respect for the other person, regardless.  There is no other way.”

A US-led coalition and Russia have vowed to crush the IS, also called ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, which monitors say has carried out executions, abductions and rapes in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, and conducted a wave of terror operations abroad.

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