On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 US Terrorist Attack.


National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States
(Sunday's New York Times - page 29A (front section) - December 23, 2001)
(Sunday's Los Angeles Times - page A-19 (front section) January 6, 2002)

At this time of world turmoil, the United States Bahá’í community offers a perspective on the destiny of America as the promoter of world peace. More than a hundred years ago, Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, addressing heads of state, proclaimed that the age of maturity for the entire human race had come. The unity of humankind was now to be established as the foundation of the great peace that would mark the highest stage in humanity’s spiritual and social evolution. Revolutionary and world-shaking changes were therefore inevitable. The Bahá’í writings state: The world is moving on. Its events are unfolding ominously and with bewildering rapidity. The whirlwind of its passions is swift and alarmingly violent. The New World is insensibly drawn into its vortex. . . . Dangers, undreamt of and unpredictable, threaten it both from within and from without. Its governments and peoples are being gradually enmeshed in the coils of the world’s recurrent crises and fierce controversies. . . . The world is contracting into a neighborhood. America, willingly or unwillingly, must face and grapple with this new situation. For purposes of national security, let alone any humanitarian motive, she must assume the obligations imposed by this newly created neighborhood. Paradoxical as it may seem, her only hope of extricating herself from the perils gathering around her is to become entangled in that very web of international association which the Hand of an inscrutable Providence is weaving. The American nation, Bahá’ís believe, will evolve, through tests and trials to become a land of spiritual distinction and leadership, a champion of justice and unity among all peoples and nations, and a powerful servant of the cause of everlasting peace. This is the peace promised by God in the sacred texts of the world’s religions. Establishing peace is not simply a matter of signing treaties and protocols; it is a complex task requiring a new level of commitment to resolving issues not customarily associated with the pursuit of peace. Universal acceptance of the spiritual principle of the oneness of humankind is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. Racism, one of the most baneful and persistent evils, is a major barrier to peace. The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality of the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged, prerequisites of peace. The inordinate disparity between rich and poor keeps the world in a state of instability, preventing the achievement of peace. Unbridled nationalism, as distinguished from a sane and legitimate patriotism, must give way to a wider loyalty, to the love of humanity as a whole. Religious strife, the cause of innumerable wars and conflicts throughout history, is a major obstacle to progress. The challenge facing the world’s religious leaders is to contemplate, with hearts filled with compassion and the desire for truth, the plight of humanity, and to ask themselves whether they cannot, in humility before their God, submerge their theological differences in a great spirit of mutual forbearance that will enable them to work together for the advancement of human understanding and peace. Bahá’ís pray, “May this American Democracy be the first nation to establish the foundation of international agreement. May it be the first nation to proclaim the unity of mankind. May it be the first to unfurl the standard of the Most Great Peace.” During this hour of crisis, we affirm our abiding faith in the destiny of America. We know that the road to its destiny is long, thorny and tortuous, but we are confident that America will emerge from her trials undivided and undefeatable.

— National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States.  


The Arab American Institute
The Arab American Institute issued the following statement regarding today’s terror attacks: We are in the midst of a national nightmare of unimaginable proportions. What is unfolding is horrible and almost too painful to watch. Arab Americans, like all Americans, are transfixed by this tragedy. We have family and friends who worked in the World Trade Center and for the Federal Government. We mourn for those who lost their lives and those who were injured. We mourn, as well, for our country in this time of national trauma. We as a nation will be profoundly tested in the months to come. Today the burden falls on our firefighters, police and emergency service personnel teams. Tomorrow it will be legislators, national security agencies and law enforcement officials who will be called upon to provide answers, solutions and punishment for those responsible. Because several news outlets have contacted us for comment, we felt that is important to recall how in the aftermath of Oklahoma City, Arab Americans were harassed and targeted in several communities across the United States. We urge our fellow citizens not to rush to judgment and point fingers at their Arab American neighbors and colleagues who are suffering, like all Americans, from these despicable acts. Regardless of who is ultimately found to be responsible for these terrorist murders, no ethnic or religious community should be treated as suspect and collectively blamed. AAI is a national organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.
Information: Dr. James Zogby, President or Jenny Salan, Media Director
(202) 429-9210; 202-494-9857

Pius, pp. XIII
We deplore and are saddened by the terrible destruction of lives and property caused by the four acts of sabotage. The positive will of God or at least His permission is present in all the events of nature and of man. Sin is the cause of wars, and until men agree to be ruled by God through His Church, punishments will follow on earth and in the life to come. Men must do things God’s way: The state, recognizing God’s one and only Church, must have just laws: no divorce and remarriage, no homosexuality, no contraception, no abortions, no sex outside of marriage, no one-child marriage laws, no economy made up of debt money, no Church-named forbidden societies, and so forth and so on. Let us, one and all, work for peace, rightly defined as the tranquility of order where justice and charity reign supreme.

Pius, pp. XIII
September 14, 2001

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
(November 14, 2001)

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted....
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy....
Blessed are the peacemakers, For they will be called children of God.

Mt. 5:4,6,7,9
These words of Jesus challenge us and offer us hope today as our community of faith responds to the terrible events of September 11 and their aftermath. As Catholic Bishops, we offer words of consolation, criteria for moral discernment, and a call to action and solidarity in these troubling and challenging times. After September 11, we are a wounded people. We share loss and pain, anger and fear, shock and determination in the face of these attacks on our nation and all humanity. We also honor the selflessness of firefighters, police, chaplains, and other brave individuals who gave their lives in the service of others. They are true heroes and heroines. In these difficult days, our faith has lifted us up and sustained us. Our nation turned to God in prayer and in faith with a new intensity. This was evident on cell phones on hijacked airliners, on stairways in doomed towers, in cathedrals and parish churches, at ecumenical and interfaith services, in our homes and hearts. Our faith teaches us about good and evil, free will and responsibility. Jesus' life, teaching, death and resurrection show us the meaning of love and justice in a broken world. Sacred Scripture and traditional ethical principles define what it means to make peace. They provide moral guidance on how the world should respond justly to terrorism in order to reestablish peace and order. The events of September 11 were unique in their scale, but they were not isolated. Sadly, our world is losing respect for human life. Those who committed these atrocities do not distinguish between ordinary civilians and military combatants, and there is the threat of possible terrorist use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in the future. The dreadful deeds of September 11 cannot go unanswered. We continue to urge resolve, restraint and greater attention to the roots of terrorism to protect against further attacks and to advance the global common good. Our nation must continue to respond in many ways, including diplomacy, economic measures, effective intelligence, more focus on security at home, and the legitimate use of force. In our response to attacks on innocent civilians, we must be sure that we do not violate the norms of civilian immunity and proportionality. We believe every life is precious whether a person works at the World Trade Center or lives in Afghanistan. The traditional moral norms governing the use of force still apply, even in the face of terrorism on this scale. No grievance, no matter what the claim, can legitimate what happened on September 11. Without in any way excusing indefensible terrorist acts, we still need to address those conditions of poverty and injustice which are exploited by terrorists. A successful campaign against terrorism will require a combination of resolve to do what is necessary to see it through, restraint to ensure that we act justly, and a long term focus on broader issues of justice and peace. In these brief reflections, we seek to articulate traditional Catholic teaching as a guide for our people and nation, offering a moral framework, rather than a series of specific judgements on rapidly changing events. We believe our faith brings consolation, insight and hope in these challenging days.

Office of Social Development & World Peace
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194 (202) 541-3000

This document was developed in consultation with Jewish, Muslim, and Christian clergy, and circulated for signature beginning Sept. 12 by the Rev. Jim Wallis, Call to Renewal and Sojourners; Dr. Robert W. Edgar, National Council of Churches; the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Reformed Church of America; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Dr. Ron Sider, Evangelicals for Social Action. Now numbering more than 1,000, a broad spectrum of the U.S. religious community, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders, have joined their signatures to the interfaith statement "Deny Them Their Victory: A Religious Response to Terrorism." Signers from the Christian community include Protestant, Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, Historic Black Church and Historic Peace Church traditions.

DENY THEM THEIR VICTORY: A Religious Response to Terrorism
Deny Them Their Victory A Religious Response to Terrorism We, American religious leaders, share the broken hearts of our fellow citizens. The worst terrorist attack in history that assaulted New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania has been felt in every American community. Each life lost was of unique and sacred value in the eyes of God, and the connections Americans feel to those lives run very deep. In the face of such a cruel catastrophe, it is a time to look to God and to each other for the strength we need and the response we will make. We must dig deep to the roots of our faith for sustenance, solace, and wisdom. First, we must find a word of consolation for the untold pain and suffering of our people. Our congregations will offer their practical and pastoral resources to bind up the wounds of the nation. We can become safe places to weep and secure places to begin rebuilding our shattered lives and communities. Our houses of worship should become public arenas for common prayer, community discussion, eventual healing, and forgiveness. Second, we offer a word of sober restraint as our nation discerns what its response will be. We share the deep anger toward those who so callously and massively destroy innocent lives, no matter what the grievances or injustices invoked. In the name of God, we too demand that those responsible for these utterly evil acts be found and brought to justice. Those culpable must not escape accountability. But we must not, out of anger and vengeance, indiscriminately retaliate in ways that bring on even more loss of innocent life. We pray that President Bush and members of Congress will seek the wisdom of God as they decide upon the appropriate response. Third, we face deep and profound questions of what this attack on America will do to us as a nation. The terrorists have offered us a stark view of the world they would create, where the remedy to every human grievance and injustice is a resort to the random and cowardly violence of revenge - even against the most innocent. Having taken thousands of our lives, attacked our national symbols, forced our political leaders to flee their chambers of governance, disrupted our work and families, and struck fear into the hearts of our children, the terrorists must feel victorious. But we can deny them their victory by refusing to submit to a world created in their image. Terrorism inflicts not only death and destruction but also emotional oppression to further its aims. We must not allow this terror to drive us away from being the people God has called us to be. We assert the vision of community, tolerance, compassion, justice, and the sacredness of human life, which lies at the heart of all our religious traditions. America must be a safe place for all our citizens in all their diversity. It is especially important that our citizens who share national origins, ethnicity, or religion with whoever attacked us are, themselves, protected among us. Our American illusion of invulnerability has been shattered. From now on, we will look at the world in a different way, and this attack on our life as a nation will become a test of our national character. Let us make the right choices in this crisis - to pray, act, and unite against the bitter fruits of division, hatred, and violence. Let us rededicate ourselves to global peace, human dignity, and the eradication of injustice that breeds rage and vengeance. As we gather in our houses of worship, let us begin a process of seeking the healing and grace of God.
To endorse the statement click on this link http://www.sojo.net/response/

Communication from the Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

To the People of God called United Methodist,
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. We write you to express our sorrow at the tremendous loss of life and our horror at the violence of the attacks that occurred in the United States today. “When one suffers, all suffer together”. We suffer today with those who lost loved ones, suffered injuries, or experienced broken and bruised spirits. As we watched with the world, we were overwhelmed by feelings of shock, fear, anger and grief. We are stunned by calculated disregard for human life and the violation of the human community. We are concerned that some people are already reacting with accusations of blame, distrust of strangers, and cries for retaliation. In this crisis moment for the United States and the world, Christians are called to bear witness to the biblical promise of peace that passes all understanding. Every Christian is called to make “peace-with-justice” a way of life. This is yet another day of peace- making for people who follow the Prince of Peace. Let us pray for President Bush and other world leaders as they respond to this crisis. The Council of Bishops of your church asks every church to take three actions in support of peace at this time. Open your church tonight and tomorrow for prayer for wisdom, comfort and healing. Encourage members and friends to donate blood through your local blood bank as the gift of life for those injured. Encourage contributions to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), for Love in the Midst of Tragedy, #901125-3. Gifts may be made through local United Methodist Churches, (Note: Please send to Treasurer, GNJAC Cherry Hill Office, 1995 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003)or by calling (800) 554-8583. Finally, we encourage Christians everywhere to reach out and join hands with leaders of all faith communities, to offer private expressions of concern and to give public witness to the possibility and the promise of peace among the peoples of the world.
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Bishop Elias Galvan
President of the Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens)
September 12th, 2001
I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attacks, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: the Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims at this sorrowful moment.

Yusuf Islam
September 18th, 2001


Yusuf sent the following article today. It's by far the best and most articulate of his messages on this subject to date. SEVENTIES pop singer Cat Stevens (Bio) became a Moslem in 1977 after rejecting his past life of drink and drugs. Here the former rock star - now called Yusuf Islam (Bio), 52, - explains how the words of the Islamic Holy book, the Koran, which preaches peace, have been twisted by extremists to promote hate. By Yusuf Islam COMING to Islam in my late twenties, after years as a wandering pop star, one of the first interesting things I learnt was that the word Islam itself comes from 'Salam' or 'Peace'. It is a faith far away from the violence, destruction and terrorism we have seen in recent days. The finger has already been pointed at Muslims and the Arab world. But the display of death and indiscriminate killing has nothing to do with a religion that blends scientific reason with spiritual beliefs, a unifying faith. As a Westerner I had been warned about Islam - that strange foreign religion which seemed to belong to people with a different colour and culture. But after being given the Koran in 1976, I discovered the opposite of what I expected. The Koran first showed me a belief in the universal existence of God (Allah), one God for all. It did not speak against peoples; it said although we may be from different countries and tribes, we were all human born of the same original parents, Adam and Eve. The Koran directly says: "The best of people are the most God-conscious". British Muslims feel nothing but sympathy for those families who lost loved ones in this awful tragedy we've all just witnessed in the US. This is why, today, along with most Muslims in Britain, we should make it clear that such acts of horrific carnage as we've seen on TV and in the newspapers have nothing to do with the beliefs of most Muslims. The Koran specifically declares: "If anyone murders an (innocent) person...it will be as if he has murdered the whole of humanity." It goes on: "And if anyone saves a person it will be as if he has saved the whole of humanity." The Koran does not teach us to live in a different world; rather it is full of stories and lessons from the history of humanity as a whole. The Gospel and Torah - the books of the Christian and Jewish Bibles - are mentioned. So are Jesus and Abraham, in fact it may be interesting to know that there is more mention in the Koran about Moses than any other Prophet. Why? Because Islam acknowledges all true faith began with God, and in doing so, it accepts the existence of other cultures and shows how we can all live together in peace. It says: "There is no compulsion in religion" - meaning once a person is of a certain faith there should be no force imposed on that person to change. Elsewhere it states: "To you, your religion; to me mine". So respect for religious values and justice is at the Koran's core. But some extremists, among them self-appointed Islamic clerics, take parts of sacred Book out of context. This is a dangerous thing. For instance, some would quote verses which say: "Think not of those who are killed in God's way as dead. No, but they are alive, finding their reward with their Lord". This has been quoted to support the action of the suicide bombers. However these verses are actually meant for people who are defending their land under a legitimate state authority, against unjust external invaders. Never does it allow the killing of innocent civilians. In fact suicide itself is strictly forbidden by the Koran. It says: "Do not kill yourselves...Whoever does this in hatred and injustice we shall cast them into the fire." Another verse often used out of context says: "Do not take the People of The Book (Christians and Jews) for friends." However, they fail to mention the historical context behind the verse, which warned not to make alliances with certain tribes who had helped to attack Muslims from behind in the early 7th Century. In fact the Islamic principle is well known and states: "Show friendship and mercy to People of the Book who are not attacking you". The Koran also says: "Repel evil with good". Muslims believe in the authority of just government and the principle of consultation. Radical fringe groups of any race, colour or religion who organise to threaten or kill innocent people of any country, disregarding God's boundaries of justice, are deplored by the majority of scholars and ordinary Muslims. The problem is that these small groups try to represent Muslims as a whole outside of Islamic law. You find such dissident factions creating their own rules, contrary to the spirit of the Koran. The Prophet Muhammad, (peace be upon him) said: "A believer remains within the scope of his religion as long as he doesn't kill another person illegally [outside of due process]". Such knowledge and words of guidance are desperately needed at this time to separate the true from the false.

"The earth is but one country and mankind its citizen" - Baha'u'llah

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