News Archives

NCC, Islamic groups call for quick end to war

3/25/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York

NEW YORK (UMNS) - The National Council of Churches and two Islamic organizations have issued a joint statement praying for a "quick conclusion" to the war with Iraq.

"We are deeply saddened that military action against Iraq has begun," the March 24 statement began. "We pray now for a quick conclusion to this war, for the loss of as few lives as possible, and for peace. In the darkness of war, let us be guided by faith and hope, and continue to act as responsible citizens and peace-builders."

Signers of the statement were the Rev. Robert Edgar, a United Methodist pastor who serves as the NCC's chief executive; Naeem Baig, chief executive, Islamic Circle of North America; and Sayyid Muhammad Syeed, chief executive, Islamic Society of North America.

The statement promised the signers would provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the war but expressed concern about the U.S. Department of Defense controlling the humanitarian response in Iraq. "We ask that a civilian and multinational authority be named to oversee this work," the statement said. "We also urge that any use of Iraq's territory or resources be authorized by a representative body of the Iraqi people under international supervision.

"We welcome the assurance of President Bush that this action is undertaken with 'respect for (Iraq's) citizens, for their great civilization, and for the religious faiths they practice.' We must confess, however, that we are concerned about the possible long-term consequences of this war. Not only will the war bring destruction of the infrastructure of Iraq, but we fear it may further destabilize the Middle East, exacerbate anti-American sentiment, and create ideal conditions for the growth of extremism and the propagation of a new wave of terrorists."

The statement warned against hate crimes, hate speech "and any other manifestations of a 'backlash' against certain groups of people because of their ethnic origin or religion. May we also uphold together the American tradition of tolerance for dissent, including that of opposition to this war."

Concern was raised about the detention of certain groups of people. "The proposed detention of asylum seekers on the basis of religion or national origin, as proposed in the Department of Homeland Security's 'Operation Liberty Shield,' alarms us," the statement said. "Singling out groups or individuals based on ethnicity, country of origin or religion will only promote distrust and hysteria, and not make us safer."

Back : News Archives 2003 Main

Contact Us

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add to your list of approved senders.