URGENT ACTION: INTERFAITH OPEN LETTER ON CHRISTIAN PEACE TEAM BEING HELD IN IRAQ
TEXT OF THE LETTER:
To those who are holding the Christian Peacemakers Team in Iraq, and to people everywhere of all Traditions of Faith and Peace:
We who write you affirm what all the traditions teach that trace their spiritual origin to Abraham:
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all teach explicitly that to kill even one human being - even more strongly one who is doing no harm, most especially one who is seeking peace and nurturing human bodies and communities—is to destroy a world. All other religious traditions agree about the holiness of human lives.
This teaching applies to all innocent Iraqis and foreigners who have been killed or taken away in Iraq out of anger against the US occupation ֖ and it applies with special clarity and strength to the members of the Christian Peacemakers Team who are being held in Iraq.
Like us, they too opposed the US attack. They came to serve the Iraqi people. They came not only to urge peace but also to live peace.
We who have opposed the US invasion and occupation of Iraq call on all who live in Iraq to seek the release of these people into safety and freedom. And we call on all people of good will everywhere to join in this call.
No doubt, those who planned and executed the US invasion and occupation of Iraq will cite this action as evidence for the rightness of their action. We utterly reject this logic, and affirm that the war undertaken by the US has multiplied the violence it pretended to oppose.
We hold morally responsible for the lives of these Christian Peacemakers both those in Iraq who have taken them, and those who have brought about the deaths of thousands of Iraqis and Americans by pursuing this war.
Once again, we call for a swift end to the US occupation of Iraq and for peaceful action by the entire human community to assist Iraqis to achieve their own self-government.
And we send our loving prayers to those who have become victims of their own loving commitment to peace, justice, and healing.
Initial emergency list of signers:
Dr Syed Syeed, head of the Islamic Society of North America; Sheila Musaji, editor of The American Muslim; Abdul Malik Mujahid, chair of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago; that Council as a body; Anwar N. Haddam, former elected Member of Parliament of Algeria (Dec 1991), and member, executive committee, Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Washington Area (CCMO); Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad of Bethesda, MD; Muhammad Ali-Salaam of Boston; Abdul Cader Asmal, MD, PhD; Zainab Al-Suwaij, Executive Director, American Islamic Congress; Tariq Modood, Director, University Research Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, UK, and Founding Editor of Ethnicities (Sage).
Rev. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches; Rev. Osagefyo Sekou, Director of Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq; Rev. Peter Laarman of Progressive Christians Uniting in California;
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rabbinic Director of The Shalom Center.
To add your signature, go to http://www.shalomctr.org/comment/reply/1074#comment