Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
October 22, 2001
Military attacks won't bring justice — churches
Church leaders unite to say bombing no solution to terrorism
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
OTTAWA — Canadian Church leaders say they fear that military attacks on Afghanistan will "severely undermine" efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.
They also believe those attacks will fail to reduce the future incidence of terrorism.
The goal of preventing further terrorist attacks in the short-term won't be accomplished by military attacks on Afghanistan or any other state seen as a sponsor of terrorism, the Church leaders said.
"That goal must be pursued through increased care and vigilance at home and in all states vulnerable to terrorist attacks."
In a letter sent to all members of Parliament Oct. 12, the leaders also said the struggle against terrorism must include "immediate actions and measures to prevent additional attacks in the near term; the pursuit, capture and trial of those who participated in or share responsibility for the Sept. 11 attacks; and long-term measures towards the reduction and eradication of terrorism."
Bede Hubbard, assistant general secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, told CCN Oct. 15 that the letter was "an effort to reflect on what kind of results might be anticipated to the current bombing, especially if it becomes a long-term strategy," as is the case in Iraq.
"The previous Russian war in Afghanistan, the war against Iraq - and the continued bombing since then - as well as the long-term and harsh military approach taken against the Palestinian uprising, have not succeeded in quelling or containing terrorism, but instead have created an even better breeding ground for increasingly violent and even further-spread terrorism," he said.
The open letter to the MPs was signed by the CCCB's general secretary Msgr. Peter Schonenbach as well as representatives of the Canadian Council of Churches, Canadian Religious Conference, Citizens for Public Justice and several other Christian churches.
The letter said political leaders in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain and elsewhere have emphasized that efforts aimed at eradicating terrorism must be long-term and multi-dimensional.
"It is highly regrettable, therefore, that states have allowed attention to shift prominently to military measures," the Church leaders said. "The essential non-military character of the struggle against terrorism must be restored."
The letter concluded, "A fundamental commitment to seek the safety and well-being of all people, from America to Afghanistan and beyond, must be at the core of the campaign against terrorism - a commitment that must now be pursued with new energy and diligence."
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