Monday, July 11, 2005

United Leaders

Following the horror of last week, here's a bit of good news from London's Guardian.
Leaders of five of the main faith groups in Britain yesterday issued a joint statement of condemnation of the terrorist bombings in London.

In a day of prayers for the victims of the explosions, with clergy across the country and beyond, including the Pope, continuing to express their horror and sorrow, the unequivocal statement issued by Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders at Lambeth Palace indicated their public determination to stand together.

Each of the five read a paragraph of the statement in turn, starting with the Chief Rabbi, Sir Jonathan Sacks, followed by Dr Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Council of Mosques and Imams, then Dr David Coffey, the Free Churches' Moderator, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor for the Catholic Church and finally Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The five leaders are pictured in the AP photo above. The article takes a brief look at what their joint statement included.
The section read by Dr Badawi expressed "our shared commitment to resisting and overcoming the evil of terrorism, which the events of recent days here in London have brought home to us afresh and with such devastating clarity. It is an evil that cannot be justified and that we utterly condemn and reject"
Speaking with reporters, Dr. Badawi added a powerful comment:
"People do things in the name of Islam which are totally contrary to Islam. We will go out to these groups with good scholars to explain to them the true nature of Islam and to argue to them about the theological basis for their hatred and anger."
The article also excerpted a statement from Pope Benedict aimed at the terrorists.
"To those who foment feelings of hatred and to those who carry out such repugnant terrorist actions, I say to you: 'God loves life, which He created, not death. Stop in the name of God'."
There's something very powerful in seeing these five faces of good speaking out against evil. It's comforting, too. To see and hear united leaders of his Church and mine, along with three others, I feel like a voice has been given to my Muslim friend's frustrations. Mine, too.


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