NCC, Islamic groups call for quick end to war
3/25/2003 News media contact: Linda Bloom · (646) 369-3759 · New York
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
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
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.
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."
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
“We believe in God and in each other.”The people of The United Methodist Church
Still Have Questions?
If you have any questions Ask
Purchase a $20 buzzkill t-shirt and help save a life
Buy a t-shirt