News Archives

Asian group urges caution in response to terrorist attacks

9/19/2001

By United Methodist News Service

As U.S. government officials plan to respond to recent acts of terrorism, the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists has three recommendations for their consideration:

· "If violence is called for, make every effort to ensure that it is perpetrated against terrorists and not innocents.
· "Take the lead in pre-empting and preventing the pejorative stereotyping and scapegoating of persons and groups which reflect the nationalities, ethnic origins and religion of the perpetrators.
· "Take the lead in addressing the root causes of the violence, including doing everything possible to ensure that all peoples are treated with respect and dignity, and are effectively accorded their human rights."

The Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa, pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, is chairman of the association, which has offices in Oakland, Calif. Executive director is Ascension L. Day.

In its statement, released Sept. 17, the association said the terrorist acts "strike at the heart of our civilization, our democracy and our political and human rights ... (and) must be dealt with forthrightly."

Regarding its first point, the association said violence against innocent people "is not only immoral and an offense to everything we stand for, it is counterproductive. That is, every innocent killed will propel untold numbers of would-be 'martyrs' into the terrorists' ranks, and it will unnecessarily and destructively polarize the struggle into one between Christianity and Islam."

Regarding stereotyping, the Asian-American association said, "We recall the mass hysteria that swept the United States in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, in which 110,000 persons were incarcerated without due process of law for no other reason than their Japanese ancestry."

The group asks all United Methodists to "extend acts of compassion, healing and mercy to the families that have lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks, and to speak the prophetic words of justice, mercy and love in such trying and difficult times."

# # #
The full text of the statement follows:

National Federation of Asian American United Methodists
300 - 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: 510-836-0993 Fax: 510-836-0995
E-Mail: nfaaum@earthlink.net

Mark M. Nakagawa Ascension L. Day
Chair Executive Director

NEWS RELEASE


ASIAN AMERICANS URGE CAUTION IN RESPONDING TO TERRORIST THREAT


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2001

Contact: The Rev. Mark M. Nakagawa
(213) 617-9097
e-mail: revmmn@aol.com

The National Federation of Asian American United Methodist (N.F.A.A.U.M) joins with United Methodists and the ecumenical community in condemning the terrorism in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people and billions of dollars of property damage. These terrorist acts strike at the heart of our civilization, our democracy and our political and human rights, and they must be dealt with forthrightly.

NFAAUM strongly urges the United States Government to incorporate the following three concepts in its plans to respond to the terrorism:

First, if violence is called for, make every effort to ensure that it is perpetuated against terrorists and not innocents. Violence against innocents is not only immoral and an offense to everything we stand for, it is counterproductive. That is, every innocent killed will propel untold numbers of would-be "martyrs" into the terrorists' ranks, and it will unnecessarily and destructively polarize the struggle into one between Christianity and Islam.

Second, take the lead in pre-empting and preventing the pejorative stereotyping and scapegoating of persons and groups which reflect the nationalities, ethnic origins and religion of the perpetrators. We recall the mass hysteria that swept the United States in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, in which 110, 000 persons were incarcerated without due process of law for no other reason that their Japanese ancestry.

Third, take the lead in addressing the root causes of the violence, including doing everything possible to ensure that all peoples are treated with respect and dignity, and are effectively accorded their human rights.

We further call on United Methodists to extend acts of compassion, healing and mercy to the families that have lost loved ones in the terrorist attacks, and to speak the prophetic words of justice, mercy and love in such trying and difficult times.






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