The following statement has been released after a meeting of the Scottish Interfaith Council at the Glasgow Central Mosque on Thursday 16 January 2003:
"We come from different religious traditions and have had our second gathering in recent months. On 12th September last year wee met at Scottish Churches House, Dunblane and today we have spent time together at the Glasgow Islamic Centre. Our discussions have reflected the experiences of our own communities in Scotland, but we have also shared our concerns over a possible American attack on Iraq and its ominous fallout. In light of this we have issued the following statement:
We believe that it is important that our communities get to know one another better and commit themselves as people of faith to work together on matters of common concern. Such concerns involve a more inclusive Scotland and a more just world order.
We invite members of our different faith traditions to pray earnestly for peace throughout the world.
We have particular anxieties over developments in relation to Iraq and call on our own Government and the Government of the United States to give proper place to the United Nations Organisation in the evaluation of the Weapons Inspectors' Report and in deciding what further steps may be required in light of that report. We also consider that every opportunity should be given to those nations with influence over the Iraqi regime to persuade that regime to comply with U.N. demands. Our view is that only the U.N. security council can legitimately authorise military action, with all the consequences potentially entailed by such action in terms of devastation and death.
Finally, we call for the creation of an effective peace-building coalition with a view to resolving the present Middle East conflict as well as addressing wider issues of suffering and need throughout the world.
Mrs Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Sikh Community
Most Reverend Keith Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Most Reverend Bruce Cameron, Primus Scottish Episcopal Church
Rt Rev Dr Findlay Macdonald, Moderator, Church of Scotland.
Mr Bashir Maan
The Venerable Lama Yeshe Losal, Buddist Community.
Imam Habib ur Rahman, Glasgow Central Mosque.
J.L Kale, Hindu Community
Ephraim Borowski, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.
Andrew Heavens, Scottish Episcopal Church, 07929 003809
Peter Kearney, Catholic Media Office, 0141 221 1168