War will not end terrorism, reconciliation will
The International Fellowship of Reconciliation expresses deep grief and sadness for the victims of the most recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France. As a global fellowship, we recognize and lament the fact that communities around the world have already been suffering from similarly appalling violence for years. As a community opposed to violence we find these acts reprehensible and the indiscriminate killing they represent abhorrent.
As a multi-faith community we pray for and with the victims of this violence, the families who have lost loved ones, the medical and security personnel who are called upon to respond amid the chaos and the community as a whole who seek a way to move forward. As people from many faith traditions, we recognize how painful it is to experience such horrible things committed in the name of one’s faith and we express solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers around the world who have repeatedly denounced such acts as unrepresentative of Islam.
We express grave concern for the repeated calls for retribution and the extent to which governments and elected leaders have responded with more calls for war. The recent acts of terrorism do not exist in a vacuum, they exist within a global context of instability caused and exacerbated by ongoing war, clandestine operations, military and police repression, poverty and neglect.
We reject the notion that more war, more „merciless“ killing can produce a solution to the problem of terrorism. We do not ignore the need for security. Security is something that all human communities desire, and one person’s security must not come at the expense of others. IFOR remains committed to finding ways to discourage violence and build the beloved community. We are committed to finding ways to prevent young people from choosing violence as a means of forming or asserting their identity. We are committed to challenging war and the unjust structures that allow violent ideologies to flourish.
We express concern for Europe’s minority communities, some of whom are likely to experience harassment and ill treatment simply because of their perceived ethnicity or their faith. We call upon Europeans and people of conscience everywhere to resist the temptation to respond in fear to acts of terrorism and war. We call upon all countries to continue to be hospitable to war’s victims and those fleeing the violence of hunger and persistent poverty.
We invite all people of conscience to join with us in seeking a nonviolent solution to these pressing challenges of our time.
A PDF of the statement translated into French is available here.
A PDF of the statement translated into Spanish is available here.