Editorial: Responses and Ramifications of War in Iraq

March 16, 2003

Source: Los Angeles Times

On March 16, 2003 the Los Angeles Times printed an editorial by Benjamin J. Hubbard stating that "peace activists must remember that the potential for war in Iraq is prompting differing responses from religious communities. According to the Web-based religion site beliefnet.com, liberal Protestant, Roman Catholic and Muslim groups tend to oppose the war, and Jewish groups want to exhaust other alternatives before any invasion. Southern Baptists (and presumably most other evangelicals) favor the war. The pope opposes war, former President and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter favors an extension of inspections, and Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel supports Bush's position... Religious and political leaders and human rights organizations must be vigilant to speak out forcefully against any anti-Arab and anti-Muslim backlash -- especially if Saddam employs chemical or biological agents and the number of U.S. war dead starts to rise. The recent ugly beating of an Arab American high school student in Yorba Linda that may have had a racist motivation should remind us of the potential for hate crimes. Moreover, certain provisions of the Patriot Act -- including some already being challenged by civil libertarians -- must not be used as a pretext for rounding up or otherwise harassing innocent persons from the Arab or Muslim communities."