ILRS Statement on the Tragedy in the United States

The International League of Religious Socialists expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of victims of the terrorist attack in the United States. We offer our prayers to all those round the world who have suffered loss as a result of this tragedy, and we join in the international day of prayer and mourning on 14 September.

With our comrades in the Socialist International, we condemn this intolerable act of murder, and we call on all those who support democracy and socialism to unite against terrorism wherever it rears its ugly head, in all its forms.

Of course, there must be a way for the world to heal. There must be a way for people of all faiths to move towards peace, towards global social and economic justice. But our main concern now is that the forces of reason in the international community can bring the perpetrators of these acts to justice, without allowing the methods of doing so to escalate into the ultimate horror of a third world war.

It is important to emphasise that justice is not vengeance. The Islamic faith has also been injured by this attack, and there is no justifiable way to assign the responsibility for the attack to millions of innocent and peaceful Muslims. Responsbility lies at the feet of those who have directly made and supported terror, not Islam.

The events of this week challenge the way we see the world. From this week, how we work for democratic socialism may likely change in ways we do not yet know. But what we do know is that the essential values of our movement and of our faiths do not change. The socialist vision of the democratic organisation and just operation of the global community, with the guarantee of respect for the human rights of all, remains the goal that can save us from destruction. Indeed, it is the only way our faiths call us to build society, and we shall continue to pursue that vision.

12 September 2001