Leading UK academics and clergy sign declaration against war on Iraq

 Hundreds of academics and clergy have signed a declaration condemning the West's war on terror and the threat of an attack Iraq. Drawn up by Pax Christi, the statement says: "It is deplorable that the world's most powerful nations continue to regard war, and the threat of war, as an acceptable instrument of foreign policy, in violation of the ethos of both the Unite Nations and Christian moral teaching. The way to peace does not lie through war but through the transformation of structures of injustice and of the politics of exclusion, and that is the cause to which the West should be devoting its technological, diplomatic and economic resources." The statement calls for Iraq to allow UN weapons inspectors to check if it has weapons of mass destruction. It says: "It is our considered view that an attack on Iraq would be both immoral and illegal and that eradicating the dangers posed by malevolent dictators and terrorists can be achieved only by tackling the root causes of the disputes." Signatories to the declaration include: Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, a likely contender as the next Archbishop of Canterbury; the Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford, Reverend John Perry, and the Catholic Bishop of Brentford, Reverend Thomas McMahon. The declaration will be presented to Downing Street on 6 August 2002. If you would like to add your name, e-mail declaration@uk2.net or send a postcard to the Pax Christi Office, St Josephi's, Watford Way, Hendon, London, NW4 4TY To see the petition in full visit: www.paxchristi.org.uk

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