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Groups calling for the release of kidnapped
Christian Peace Team Members in Iraq
Statements of Support
CPT has received many statements of support from organizations, groups and individuals.
We share some of the highlights here....
CPT Colombia -- Barrancabermeja, Colombia December 5 2005
John 1:5 The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.
CPT has been in Iraq since October
2002 doing independent human rights reports and working for the rights of
those detained by the United States and Iraqi forces. Also CPT has
facilitated trainings in non violent intervention and documentation of
human rights violations. CPT was the first group to denounce the torture
of Iraqi prisoners held by USA forces and we hope to continue this work.
CPT opposes the multinational forces occupation of Iraq as well as the
foreign policies of the USA in Colombia and we call for an end of such
The Congregation of St. Joseph Justice Committee, Cleveland, OH
The Justice Committee of the Congregation of
St. Joseph (Catholic order of sisters) in Cleveland has been advocating an
end to the occupation of Iraq since the current war began. Before the
invasion of Iraq by US and "coalition forces" began, we were protesting
strongly to convince our government to avoid going to war and against the
sanctions during the 1990's which were causing so much suffering in Iraq.
Peter DeMott, Danny Burns, Clare Grady, and Teresa Grady
In the name of Allah, Most
Gracious, Most Merciful, we send greetings of peace to our brothers and
sisters in Iraq who are holding the Christian Peacemaker Team members, Tom
Fox, Norman Kember, James Loney, and Harmeet Singh Sooden. We write to you
in a spirit of peace. We ask for your mercy on behalf of our friends as
Allah bestows mercy.
The Canadian Islamic Congress
The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) today
expressed its sincere regret over the kidnapping of four Christian
Peacemaker Teams (CPT) workers in Iraq this past week.
Witness for Peace Statement of Support for the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
Witness for Peace joins with millions around the world to pray and call for the quick return of Tom Fox, James Loney, Norman Kember and Harmeet Sooden. For more than 20 years we have stood with CPT in support of peace and nonviolence and in opposition to unjust United States policies throughout the Americas. CPTers have dedicated their lives to opposing the oppressive policies of death and destruction that the U.S. government has pursued in Latin America, the Middle East and here at home. CPT has served as a prophetic voice for change so desperately needed in this country.
We are grateful
that CPT has stood in opposition to unjust U.S. policies and an unjust
U.S. war in Iraq since 2002. We are grateful that Tom, James, Norman and
Harmeet were willing to travel to Iraq and stand in solidarity with the
Iraqi people. We know that they serve only the God of peace and justice,
and we are eager for them to resume their work. We need their help to end
the U.S. occupation and stop this war against the people of Iraq.
The Toronto Catholic Worker Community
My name is Rob Shearer, and I am a member of the Toronto Catholic Worker community. I live and work in Zacchaeus House, which is behind me here, where we live with folks in transition. James Loney co-founded this faith community with several others over 15 years ago and has been an active participant in its life every since.
Every one of us in the Toronto Catholic worker community is distressed and saddened that the people who have taken our friend Jim as well as his companions Tom, Norman and Harmeet are bargaining with their lives. We feel that the people who are hosting the missing CPT four have made a mistake, as we know firsthand Jim’s commitment to peace, and to the people of Iraq and his opposition to the multinational presence there.
There are many, many people in our Close Avenue community who have lived and worked closely with Jim. I believe that I speak for everyone around here when I say that we all miss his mischievous smile, his deep conversations always probing at getting to the heart of things, his honesty and integrity, his heart for peace and justice, his humour, and his special ability to turn many a crying child into a dancing, joyous, laughing one. With young and old, across cultures and creeds, we know Jim to be a peacemaker, with a real passion for those who are suffering.
The Toronto Catholic Worker, which Jim co-founded, has consistently opposed this war, and the continuing presence of multinational forces in Iraq. Many of us have, with Jim, vigiled, prayed and acted against the aggression against the people of Iraq.
The Catholic Worker Movement was founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933, and is grounded in a firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person - be that an Iraqi Citizen, a soldier, a kidnapper, or a Christian peace activist. We pray for waves of love to flow over everyone involved at this time.
difficult time we will continue to live the works of mercy and run houses
of hospitality like Zacchaeus House, the one that Jim founded. We ask you
to join us in prayer for all of the missing peacemakers, as we continue to
follow our call to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the
naked, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless, and visit the sick. At
the same time, we will, like Jim, oppose the works of war, which are to
destroy homes, crops, and land, inflict wounds, separate families,
contaminate water, level villages, kill the living and imprison
In the meantime, we will miss that smile, those conversations, those special moments. We know that holidays won’t be the same around here without those amazing pastries and sweets he makes. From our youngest here on the street, to the oldest, we are waiting with hope.
We miss you Jim - we miss your presence here among us - and we pray that you and our peacemaking friends will come home soon. Jim, we hope to see you really soon.
Ikram al-Sabri, Head Mufti of Palestine
“There is a duty for all Palestinian people, institutions and factions to commit to sending a call to release these people who have been kidnapped. They are very important for us to help continue our struggle, whether here in Palestine or in Iraq, to gain our country's freedom. We repeat our call to release all the civilian people who have been kidnapped all over the world, not only these four.”
Phil Jones, Director of the Brethren Witness Washington Office
We mourn today that members of CPT have been kidnapped and suffer at the hands of their captors.... As we pray for the safe release of these four Christian peace workers we also pray for the victims and families of the over 225 kidnapings and thousands of casualties of this war to date. We pray for the immediate families of those affected by deep pain and grief of war. We call upon the administration of this nation to consider its complicity and to refocus, redefine, and reshape its foreign policy. We pray that a true advent of peace might be revealed.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows represents family members of those killed in the brutal attacks of 9/11. Our experience of loss has led us to call for an end to the cycle of violence and an end to the targeting and killing of civilians. We realized that the terrorism of September 11th would lead to the terrorism of war, and that these acts of violence would continue to grow until ordinary people from all nations, joining together in solidarity, recognized their common destiny and demanded an end to violent conflict. The members of the Christian Peacemaker Team are a part of this people's movement. We ask their captors to choose the moral path and break the cycle of violence. Your compassionate action will earn you the respect of the world, and will support the efforts of ordinary people everywhere to create a safer and more peaceful tomorrow for all.
Yemen Statement by Al-Quds
International Foundation, a gathering of Middle East religious leaders
Woman's Willpower Committee
Woman's Willpower Committee
Member of the National Iraqi Constitutional Conference Women's Bureau
In the name of peace, freedom and justice:
Woman's Willpower Committee calls on human conscience, which has striven for peace, for human beings, for putting an end to the ongoing bloodshed Iraq has been going through under the occupation. In the name of detainees, those who have gone missing, and victims, we call for the release of the four CPT workers, who were kidnapped on November 26, 2005.
Since the early days of the invasion of Iraq, the CPT have strenuously worked on helping the detainees and missing people. They have been looking all over Iraq for missing persons inside detention camps.
Woman's Willpower Committee condemns
the kidnapping for the four CPTers and calls on the human conscience of
the captors to release them.
"On November 26, 2005, Tom
Fox, a US-born Quaker from Virginia, was taken captive in Iraq with his
three colleagues from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Norman Kember of England
and Canadians Harmeet Singh Sooden and James Loney. The four came to Iraq
to document human rights abuses by both US and Iraqi forces, to provide
training in nonviolent intervention, and to provide independent reports on
the current situation in Iraq.
We actively worked to avert the US invasion of Iraq, as we have always repudiated the use of war as a means of resolving disputes. We understand that this war has inflicted suffering on innocent victims, that it has devastated the infrastructure on which the civilian population depends, and that it has poisoned the environment, littering landmines, depleted uranium and other hazards which will remain long after US forces have left. We understand that no people can be free under a foreign occupation. Moreover, the war and occupation have left psychological scars, both on those who have experienced suffering and on those who have inflicted it. Our Friends saw it as their calling to try and heal those scars, to rebuild relationships, and to remind all whom they encountered in Iraq of our common humanity.
To you who have taken our Friends captive, we say that you are not our enemies. We know that we must respond to your action by redoubling our efforts for finding peace, for ending torture and unjust imprisonment, and for taking responsibility for the destruction that this war and occupation have caused. We are confident that by now you have found that the only weapon these four carry with them is love. We ask you to take their weapon and employ it in your struggle. We ask you for their safety, and their release back to their homes and families.
To those of you who, like us, are praying for the safe release of these four peacemakers, we say let us take their actions as a guide. In whatever ways we are able, let us risk ourselves for peace. Let us root out violence in every facet of our lives, in our family relationships, our communities’ response to crime, our stewardship of the earth, and our foreign policies. Let us eradicate prejudice and bigotry, economic inequality, resource domination and other injustices lest they plant the seeds for future conflicts. Let us, above all, answer to that of God in every person.
And to Tom, Norman, Harmeet and James, we thank you for your courage and integrity. We are holding you in the Light."
Fariel Abu Haikel, Headmistress at Qurtuba Girls School, Hebron, Palestine
remember the nice moments while we were under curfew with the CPT members
who we have known since 1995. They came and gave food to people under
curfew and showed their love and solidarity with our schools and our
children. We will never forget these moments, because the CPT were the
only people standing with us at that time. As a women who works with them,
I send my call for the Iraqi resistance to release these people because
CPT are very important people for us. To Bush I say that democracy is not
imposed - democracy is given by people, not given by armies. We are
sending our call for the faction that kidnapped these people in Iraq to
release them immediately because we need them here.”
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