Open letter to Prime Minister from British Quakers opposing use of force

Quakers in Britain have written an open letter to David Cameron regarding military action in Iraq and Syria:

“An open letter from Quakers in Britain to the Prime Minister Quakers acknowledge with sadness the recall of Parliament to consider British military action.

As the tragedies in Syria and Iraq unfold, Quakers in Britain again asks for military restraint.

Quakers acknowledge and deplore the extreme criminal behaviour displayed in the region. We too, want the violence and suffering to end.

We remind those who make these decisions in Britain that it is often easier to start a war than to end it, and that additional violence itself fuels a bloody and destructive cycle. The bitterness and hatred created lasts for generations. Such violence threatens us all.

We stress that diplomatic channels must be used at all times, but especially when considering violence and war, particularly through the good offices of the United Nations.

Britain is a wonderful living example of the potential of multi-faith peace-making. We have many British citizens of Iraqi and Syrian origin who are in active dialogue with their families and friends in the region. It is those people who tell us how such criminality is created – by desperate people who feel they have lost everything to violence inflicted on them by the West, and that violence is their revenge. Desperation has a human face and humanity is what we share.

Quakers ask that Parliament discuss whether this is an opportunity for Britain to export peace in a way hitherto unexplored – through our multi-faith and multicultural connections which spread across the world.

Quakers again ask for Government to take a further critical look at the role that the arms trade plays in promoting and increasing the likelihood of war.

We trust and pray that as Parliament makes these difficult decisions on our behalf, they are guided by love of humanity and the desire for peace for everyone.

Paul Parker Recording Clerk Quakers in Britain

This is an open letter. Copies have been sent to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and members of the press.

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