Patapsco Friends Meeting
Mt. Hebron House, 2331 Calvin Circle, Ellicott City, MD 21042
“Walk gently over the earth answering that of God in everyone.” George Fox
28 September 2001
Editor, Columbia Flier/Howard County Times
10750 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044
I am writing on behalf of the Patapsco Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Howard County to express our grief and condolences for all persons harmed by the September 11th attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and to convey our deep concerns about the course of action our government and others may take in retribution. We are also deeply saddened and alarmed by reports of violence and harrassment directed toward our Muslim neighbors and fellow citizens.
As Quakers, we oppose war and violence. (We encourage persons wishing to know more about Quakers and our 340-year peace testimony to join us in silent worship on Sunday morning or review our website at www.patapscofriends.com.) As a nation and a world at this time in history when we live so closely together, we can no longer tolerate war. With reflection, wisdom, prayer, and divine guidance, we can do justice to the criminal and the innocent; and we can work together with our friends around the world to understand and justly address those conditions that breed hatred and violence.
The persons who led, directed, and committed the September 11th attacks committed crimes against humanity and they should be apprehended and tried accordingly. People of all races, creeds, religions, and economic and political conditions around the world support the United States in bringing these individuals to justice. Our leaders should use this unprecedented opportunity to forge coalitions to ensure peace and understanding between nations, not to divide the world into those who are “for us or against us.”
When war is waged, innocent people inevitably die. The immediate attention of a U.S. led “War Against Terrorism” would likely be Osama bin Laden and the Taliban leaders of Afghanistan. If news stories this week are correct, the Taliban is forcing young boys who do not support their regime to join their fight and come under American attack. In war, despite proclamations otherwise, none are spared. We must expect a higher standard of our President, our Congress, and our people.
Criminal acts against our citizens and many others in our country do not justify our bringing harm or death to other innocent men, women and children by indisciminate acts of war. We most deeply, reverently, and lovingly ask our leaders not to continue the error of a “War Against Terrorism” which will surely lead to our committing the same wrongs against others as we have suffered, followed by more hatred, more violence, and more death.
We hope to honor those who died on September 11th by not killing other persons in their names, but to make a memorial to their lives by undertaking to build a better world. We ask for justice, not war.
Sherri Morgan, Clerk