U.S. Bishops and Muslim Leaders Issue Joint Statement

«The One God Calls Us to Be Peoples of Peace»

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WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 16, 2001 (Zenit.org).- U.S. Catholic bishops and Muslim leaders issued a joint statement Friday in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States. The full text appears below.

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Catholics and Muslims meet regularly as friends and religious partners in dialogue and engage together in many community projects. We are fully committed to one another as friends, believers, and citizens of this great land. We abhor all terrorist acts and hate crimes and implore all American citizens to refrain from sinking to the mentality and immorality of the perpetrators of Tuesday´s (September 11, 2001) crimes.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and American Muslim Council, Islamic Circle of North America, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim American Society and numerous Islamic centers and councils have co-sponsored dialogues on religious themes and we commit ourselves to the many noble goals of interreligious cooperation. We believe that the one God calls us to be peoples of peace. Nothing in our Holy Scriptures, nothing in our understanding of God´s revelation, nothing that is Christian or Islamic justifies terrorist acts and disruption of millions of lives which we have witnessed this week. Together we condemn those actions as evil and diametrically opposed to true religion.

We urge all American citizens to unify during this national tragedy and encourage cooperation among all ethnic, cultural, racial, and religious groups constituting the mosaic of our society. We appeal to American citizens to come to the assistance of the countless victims of Tuesday´s crimes and the victims of any crimes of hate in the aftermath of those awful events. We join in supporting our Government in the pursuit of those who were responsible for Tuesday´s terrorist acts, always mindful of the moral imperative to act with restraint and respect for civilian lives. We appeal to law enforcement agencies and the general public to assist those who may be targets of hate crimes. We entreat Catholics and Muslims to join together and with all people of good will in services of prayer and community programs promoting peace.

Most Rev. Tod D. Brown
Bishop of Orange
Chairman, Bishops´ Committee for
Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
Director, Islamic Society of Orange County
Islamic Society of North America

Aly R. Abuzaakouk
Executive Director
American Muslim Council

Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed
Secretary General
Islamic Society of North America

Naeem Baig
Secretary General
Islamic Circle of North America

Imam W. D. Mohammed
Muslim American Society

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