Trident opposition by multi-faith group during month of action

By agency reporter
June 24, 2016

On 27 June 2016, an alliance of people from different religious traditions will take action against nuclear weapons at the factory where they are made.

Opposition to nuclear weapons transcends borders, race, creed and religion.  During the Month of Action at Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Berkshire, groups representing different faiths will join together in the campaign to scrap Trident renewal and support a ban on all nuclear weapons. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23134) The interfaith gathering will include Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Nipponzan My?h?ji, as well as others.  People of all faiths and none are welcome.

A final decision on the replacement of Trident is due later this year, with leading anti-nuclear groups and academics saying that it will cost £205 billion or more over its lifetime.

There has been a blockade of the factory, including a permanent camp set up, since the start of June. 

Mohammed Ansar, Muslim broadcaster and activist said: "Weapons of mass destruction, which might only be deployed at a time of pre-emptive action to take life on a massive and indiscriminate level, must be opposed. There is no sense and little humanity in such warfare and the idea of taking of innocent life on such a scale, let alone at all. Spending hundreds of billions on upgrading a weapons systems, at a time when we have one million people at foodbanks and punishing austerity measures targeting the poorest communities, the vulnerable and the disabled, is unconscionable.

"If nothing else, the message of Islam and the completion of holy revelation is that we as people and as societies have an obligation to support and seek out peace. For people of faith and good conscience, the ambition is to create conditions leading to peace, not warfare; of unity and to oppose prejudice and division."

 Emma Anthony, membership and outreach officer for Christian pacifist charity the Fellowship of Reconciliation, said: "Trident has to go. Killing – or even just the act of threatening to kill – hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of civilians just to make a political point is inexcusable. Threatening to commit mass murder is not the kind of message we want to be sending to other countries. Nuclear weapons make the world a more dangerous place and the UK must take the opportunity later this year to scrap Trident, otherwise we cannot, without immense hypocrisy, expect other countries not to build or maintain their own nuclear weapons. If the UK were ever in a situation to use nuclear weapons, Trident would have failed as a deterrent, so it’s of absolutely no use even if we were comfortable with the horrendous immorality and financial cost of it."

She concluded: "As a Christian, I believe it’s morally, economically and strategically wrong to replace Trident. We need real security like hospitals and to slow down runaway climate change, not wasting money and scientists on building cold war relics."

* The Month of Action is organised by Trident Ploughshares

* Fellowship of Reconciliation http://www.for.org.uk/

[Ekk/4]

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