Quakers in Britain oppose military action in Syria

By staff writers
December 1, 2015

Tomorrow (2 December) Parliament will vote on military action in Syria. Quakers in Britain oppose this, consistent with their belief that killing is wrong.

On Thursday 26 November the Prime Minister led a debate on the case for military action in Syria. He presented his reasons for suggesting air strikes to the House of Commons and gave MPs a chance to ask questions and respond. A vote on whether the UK should engage in air strikes will follow tomorrow's debate.

Quakers in Britain say: "We are led by our faith to reject 'outward weapons', turning instead to those of the spirit. As a faith community our religious understanding and experience is that true peace cannot be imposed by military might. Ideas cannot be removed with bombs.

There are both moral and pragmatic reasons to oppose military action in Syria. Bombs dropped from the air not only kill indiscriminately, they further increase the risk of terrorist retribution. Security comes from building peace not from supplying weapons. It comes from welcoming refugees fleeing war rather than erecting fences."

Many Quakers have already written to their MPs to ask them not to support the air strikes. There is still time to take action before the vote in Parliament, whether by writing a letter or building community links. Quakers in Britain say "It is important that our elected representatives in Parliament hear our reasons for opposing military action."

* Statement from Quakers in Britain http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/22359

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 478 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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