Violence in the name of religion condemned
William Szekely, Chair of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews, released a statement to mark the anniversary of the tenth anniversary of attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
The Australian Council of Christians and Jews (“ACCJ”) being one of the longest standing interfaith bodies in Australia, notes that today is the tenth anniversary of the above terrible events of 2001.
Our Executive Committee expresses our sorrow for the loss of life on that occasion to the people of the United States and recognises and shares the grief that the families and friends of the approximately 3,000 victims (including the families of the ten Australians identified as having been killed) have suffered.
We recognise the acts of heroism of those rescuers who gave of their best on that terrible day, and that some of them, also lost their lives.
We recognise and share the grief of their families and friends.
The ACCJ deplores and condemns all acts of violence committed against anyone and in particular innocent civilians.
We particularly condemn any such acts carried out or for which responsibility is claimed in the name of religion.
The world changed dramatically since that day and all peoples have since, been as vigilant as they can be, to guard against such acts of wanton killing and terror.
The ACCJ promotes a combined Christian-Jewish effort to foster social harmony through acceptance of ethnic and other differences in a multicultural society.
Its aim is to combat all forms of religious, racial and social discrimination, today a positive way of tackling the problems that create social disharmony in our midst.
The insights of Judaism and Christianity can be a powerful force in dealing with problems of this kind.
We help educate Christians and Jews and others in an appreciation of their common backgrounds and of each other’s beliefs and practices.
We promote the study and research of the various causes of conflicts among people of different creeds.
ACCJ promotes education to benefit the community in those ethical teachings common to Christianity and Judaism the key to mutual understanding and respect.
And as a result, ACCJ and the faiths within it, will seek to promote greater tolerance of ‘the other’, of ‘the other’s’ beliefs and to seek dialogue and peaceful interaction rather than violence from which nothing good can come.
The interfaith memorial service held in St Marys Cathedral today is a mark of interfaith dialogue, faiths working together to prevent such awful tragedies as September 11 happening and seeking understanding and dialogue and peace by means of peaceful solutions.
To us and to all peoples, intolerance has no place in our world today or tomorrow.