Quelle:  www.bbc.co.uk/religion/programmes/.../t20050708.shtml

Thought for the Day, 8 July 2005

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams

'Dead silence, except for the occasional sirens.' That was how people were describing what it was like in London yesterday afternoon. Just as when we face a personal shock or loss, there comes a moment when we don't know what to say, or how we feel, or what can be done: dead silence.

Terrorist violence aims at just such a reaction and wants it to last. They want to silence human speech - not only by killing, but by paralysing us all.

The terrorist's goal is a situation in which our fear of violence and our grief and pain over violence have become stronger than our positive hopes and commitments.

For most of the last two weeks, the thoughts of millions of people have been focused on the G8 meeting: positive hopes and commitments were uppermost. People knew what they wanted - justice for the poor, firm promises to address the environmental crisis: they wanted to be able to be proud of themselves and their leaders, they wanted to be confident that this was a world where moral vision and power still worked.

And then on Wednesday we had that great vote of confidence in London. Once again, hopes and commitments were in the air and people were being stirred by new possibilities.

So yesterday's atrocities could not have come at a crueller moment. In addition to the terrible fact of plain human loss and suffering, there's the sense of a kind of defiant insult being flung at all of this.

And just as there are insults that leave us as individuals feeling too sick and empty to respond, so there are moments when a whole society feels like that.

An Old Testament Prophet spoke these words: 'How doth the city sit solitary that was full of people'; he spoke them as he looked out over the ruins of his home and the bodies of his friends.

But that sick desolation is what the terrorist wants. If our passion for justice, renewal, reconciliation is silenced, the path is open for whatever distorted and inhuman agenda is ready to fill the gap. So we have to ask 'do we have the strength still to say no to this? Do we truly, commitedly, want what we wanted before this tragedy erupted?'

We must take courage. We may not feel we have much strength, we may still feel partly paralysed. There's a passage in the New Testament where Paul says something like this: 'we don't know how to pray or what to hope for sometimes. But the spirit of God is working with us, and even our wordless cries and groans become part of the Spirit's action'.

There's another kind of silence, where we breathe deeply and 'gather' ourselves, anchor ourselves in what matters and what lasts. The only finally adequate response to terror and evil is to gather ourselves like this - to reach down into what feeds the roots of our spirit, trusting that justice, mercy and joy are never going to be silenced or paralysed. And when we know that, we're ready to begin again on the long road, the long task, of making humanity really human.

07. Juli 2005

CTBI Communications
Anne van Staveren 020 7654 7220 mobile 07939 139 881

Terrorist attack: a joint statement from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and The Muslim Council of Britain.

Deepest sympathy is expressed at the death and suffering which the series of co-ordinated attacks in London has caused to the families and loved ones who have been the victims of this terrible atrocity.
This criminal attack is condemned in the strongest possible terms. No good purpose can be achieved by such an indiscriminate and cruel use of terror.
The scriptures and the traditions of both the Muslim and Christian communities repudiate the use of such violence. Religious precepts cannot be used to justify such crimes, which are completely contrary to our teaching and practice.
We continue to resist all attempts to associate our communities with the hateful acts of any minority who claim falsely to represent us. In the present uncertainties, we look to all community leaders to give an example of wisdom, tolerance and compassion.
The events of recent years have challenged Muslims and Christians to work together in order to acknowledge our differences, to affirm our common humanity, and to seek ways to share life together. Much has already been achieved, and nothing must undermine the progress that we have made. These attacks strengthen our determination to live together in peace, and to grow together in mutual understanding.

This crime must inspire us to work unceasingly together in pursuit of peace, justice and respect for difference.’

Prayer following explosions in London 07 July 2005

For further information:

Anne van Staveren Communications Officer, CTBI 020 7654 7220 or 07939 139 881
Shenaz Bunglawala MCB media office 077627 917714

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is the umbrella body for all the major Christian Churches in Britain and Ireland. It liaises with ecumenical bodies in Britain and Ireland as well as ecumenical organizations at European and world levels. Its work includes Church Life, Church and Society, Mission, Inter Faith Relations, International Affairs and Racial Justice. It provides a forum for joint decision-making and enables the Churches to take action together. See

Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organizations, mosques, charities and schools. See www.mcb.org.uk