Former President Nelson Mandela
called President Bush arrogant and shortsighted and implied that he was
racist for ignoring the United Nations in his zeal to attack Iraq.
In a speech on Thursday (30/1/03),
Mandela urged the people of the United States to join massive protests
against Bush. Mandela called on world leaders, especially those with
vetoes in the U.N. Security Council, to oppose him.
"One power with a president who has no foresight and cannot think
properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust," Mandela
told the International Women's Forum.
"Why is the United States behaving
so arrogantly?" he asked. "All that (Bush) wants is Iraqi oil," he said.
Mandela said the United Nations
was the main reason there has been no World War III and it should make
the decisions on how to deal with Iraq.
He said that the United States,
which callously dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has no
moral authority to police the world.
He said Bush was "trying to bring
about carnage" and appealed to the American people to vote him out of
office and demonstrate against his policies.
He also condemned Blair for his
strong support of the United States. "He is the foreign minister of the
United States. He is no longer prime minister of Britain," he said.
“When in despair I
remember that all through history the way of truth and
love has always won; there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time
they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.” M.K. Gandhi
Understandably, after the tragedy in New York and Washington DC on
September 11 many have written or called the office to find out what would
be an appropriate nonviolent response to such an unbelievably inhuman act of
First, we must understand that nonviolence is not a strategy that we can
use in times of peace and discard in a moment of crisis. Nonviolence is about personal attitudes, about becoming the change we wish to see in the
world. Because, a nation’s collective attitude is based on the attitude of
the individual. Nonviolence is about building positive relationships with
all human beings – relationships that are based on love, compassion,
respect, understanding and appreciation.
read the full statement from the M.K. Gandhi
Institute for Nonviolence...
expressing my sympathy, I said to the president that using violence may
not be appropriate," the Dalai Lama wrote in a letter to US President
George W Bush.
"Any problem within humanity should be solved in a humanitarian way and
ahimsa (non-violence) is the human way of approaching a target," he told
reporters in Calcutta.
While stressing that the essence of all major religions was forgiveness
and brotherhood, he said, "There are people who use religion, but
blaming a particular religion will not be appropriate."
"It is wrong to describe it as an act by Muslim terrorists. Because, I
think all religions have the same potential to strengthen human values
and to develop general harmony," he said.
"In this case the enemy is invisible and picking just one individual is
difficult," the Dalai Lama said while emphasising the need to take 'a
more wider perspective'.
"These things are a concern for humanity and not just one country," he
said adding non-violence as a long-term measure should be explored to
control terrorism of any kind.
On the causes that might be behind the terrorist strikes, he said "It
could have a basis in 18th or 19th century decisions or colonial rules
in the past or even economic factors like WTO or GATT."
Jeremy Jones -
National Vice-President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry
Amjad Ali Mehboob -
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Federation of Islamic
David Gill - General
Secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia
A CALL BY JEWISH, MUSLIM AND CHRISTIAN LEADERS IN
(14 September 2001
Christians, Jews and Muslims in Australia share the world’s horror at
the tragic loss of life resulting from terrorism in New York and Washington.
Together we mourn for the victims and griever with those whose loss is so
This is a time for Australians of all faith and of none;
the tragedy should provoke a new affirmation of our shared commitment to peace
and human dignity. We call on members of our three faith communities to respond
to the terrible events by strengthening the ties of faith and mutual respect
that binds us together.
Our compassion for the victims and our horror at the inhumane deeds must
not become an excuse for hatred or bigotry or be exploited by those who seek to
divide us on the basis of religion or ethnic origin.
Together we call on our people to respond to the evil by uniting, as
Australian and human beings, in reaffirming respect for life, for human rights,
for peace and for justice.
As people of all faith we pray for peace and call on world leaders to
respond to this tragedy seeking justice, not revenge.
May the beneficent God protect us all.