Prime Minister Tony Blair
Article for the Pakistani Daily Jang Newspaper
September 19, 2001
In an article for the Daily Jang newspaper concerning the recent terrorist attacks
in the US the Prime Minister said : Such acts of despicable cruelty are,
I know, wholly contrary to the Islamic faith as Muslim leaders and clerics here
in Britain have made clear.
The article reads:
"People across our country and across the world have been
united in their shock, disbelief and revulsion at the terrorist attacks in the
United States last week.
Communities, countries and faiths have come together in condemnation of those
responsible for this evil and in sympathy and sorrow for the thousands of victims.
The scale of the catastrophe has been difficult to comprehend. The loss of life
has been enormous.
Thousands of heart-broken families not just in America but in every corner
of our globe - are grieving for the loss of their loved ones.
Im afraid that they include hundreds of families here in Britain. There
is no doubt that this is the worst terrorist outrage involving British citizens
since the Second World War.
The victims of these indiscriminate terrorist attacks were innocent men, women
and children of many, many nationalities and of all faiths.
Such acts of despicable cruelty are, I know, wholly contrary to the Islamic
faith as Muslim leaders and clerics here in Britain have made clear.
Barbarism of the kind we have just witnessed is totally foreign to the true
spirit and values of Islam which puts so much stress on tolerance and respect
for human life.
I want to assure Daily Jang readers that the vast majority of decent people
in Britain realise that neither you nor Islam is in any way responsible for
what happened in the United States last week.
Those responsible are not communities nor religions but fanatical individuals.
Blaming Islam is as ludicrous as blaming Christianity for loyalist attacks on
Catholics or nationalist attacks on Protestants in Northern Ireland.
On the contrary, we know that the overwhelming majority of Muslims totally condemn
these atrocities as the strong statement of the Muslim Council of Britain last
week made clear, denouncing the senseless and evil acts that appal all
people of conscience."
Its why Muslim states are among those helping to build the international
coalition to bring to justice those responsible for these terrorist attacks
and to work together to prevent such atrocities in the future.
Terrorism of this kind knows no mercy, no pity nor national borders. It is also
an attack not just on innocent people but on the values of tolerance, freedom
and democracy that underpin our way of life.
So the international community is coming together to tackle this collective
threat to our security, our nations and our values.
We need to identify the groups behind terrorism of this kind, how they operate,
how they move about the world, how they are financed and how they are supported.
We must also show we will not tolerate those states which harbour the terrorist
We must act carefully but with real resolve. And I would add that, now more
than ever, we have reason not to let the Middle East Peace Process slip still
further but, if at all possible, to re-invigorate it and move it forward.
Despite the scale of the tragedy, there has been no rush to retaliate by the
Instead the US deserves credit, at a time of tremendous national emotion, for
patience and care as it has gathered together with help from intelligence
sources round the world - the evidence which reveals the people and groups behind
last weeks attacks.
That must continue just as we will continue patiently building the international
coalition of the civilised countries of the world to hold to account those responsible
for last weeks mass murder and to dismantle the machinery of terrorism
which made it possible."
Crown copyright material reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.