International Ecumenical Conference on Terrorism in a Globalized World
September 21-26, 2002
1. Motivated by the urgency and passion we share in response to the massive threat to life posed by the global situation 130 people from 22 countries gathered here in Manila, Philippines. We have come at short notice, little more than a year after September 11, on the invitation of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the World Council of Churches and the Christian Conference of Asia. We are women, youth and men. We come from many countries, some which experience the direct impact of state terrorism. We are all affected. We include Christian and Muslim. We meet in the context of the Philippines and the ongoing struggle of the Philippine people. As an ‘International Ecumenical Conference on Terrorism in a Globalized World’, we have joined in solidarity to share experiences, reflect, analyze and act together in the face of mounting global hegemony.
2. The massive affliction of terrorism did not begin on September 11. We grieve as we remember the pain resulting from criminal acts of terrorism such as September 11th. We also grieve the pain of the people of Afghanistan as a result of the United States led so called ‘War on Terror’ that began on October 7th. The entire human community suffers the devastation of this ‘War on Terror’. We ask why?
As we grieve we remember the victims of U.S. wars of direct and indirect intervention and aggression such as on the people of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, China, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Columbia, Indonesia, Iraq and Palestine. Even here the list does not end.
Old and New Terror
3. The stories of women and men from all over Asia, particularly from the Philippines leave us outraged. Other stories from the Middle East, Latin America, the Pacific and Africa resulted in us feeling anger and compassion at the continuing and ongoing impact of war.
4. Christians and Muslims have shared the impact of war on them and their communities. The participants in the Women’s International Peace Mission and the Women’s International Solidarity Forum made visible the impact on women’s lives of militarized globalization. As a conference we committed ourselves to the key role of women in building a world of peace.
5. Globalization has resulted in the further exclusion and marginalization of vast numbers of people, particularly women and youth. It has spawned the worst forms of social fragmentation. Economic globalization has brought about even greater monopolization, mergers and concentration of wealth. It has further widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
6. The U.S. state terrorism under the banner of the ‘War on Terror’ has legitimated the U.S. to target any state, nation, group or individual deemed threatening to U.S. national interests as defined solely by the U.S. itself. This is a dramatic threat to global security. This amounts to a re-ordering of global politics and a repudiation of international law. This has unleashed state terrorism of historic dimensions. On September 11 the U.S. experienced what other countries have already known. Now, after Afghanistan and the obscene loss of human life, the U.S. is directing its guns and bombs against other so-named ‘rogue states’, and singled out several countries with Islamic nationalists as harboring terrorists groups.
7. The ‘War on Terror’ is not an authentic or just response to the events of September 11th. It is an opportunistic use of violence to consolidate and expand U.S. economic, political, cultural and military hegemony, which amounts to state terrorism. The U.S. global hegemony must be named as Empire.
8. The poor who are impacted by the indirect violence from state and corporate led globalization also experience this intensified violence. Undeveloped markets for goods and technology, availability of resources, particularly oil and servile government and people makes consolidating hegemony in Asia an imperative of the U.S empire.
9. We say
The ‘War on Terror’ is undermining many years of human struggle for self-determination, human rights, civil liberties and democracy will be lost in U.S. quest for peace and security.
The suffering of many due to institutionalized socio-economic violence at the hands of the forces of globalization is wrong.
No to terror in all its forms – institutional, militaristic, economic, state, and criminal.
The indiscriminate branding of people, groups, nations and organizations, as ‘terrorist’ is unjust and must be stopped.
No to the way that the U.S. agenda undermines peace efforts such as the Sunshine Policy in Korea.
It is wrong that women, children and youth bare the brunt of the impact of globalization and terrorism.
The vulnerability of minority Christian and Muslim communities in many countries and inter-religious relationships has been made worse U.S. actions.
The polarization of Muslim and Christian communities spawn by the ‘War on Terror’ must be resisted and overcome.
International law, the role of the UN, and human rights and humanitarian law, conventions and standards must be respected.
That the control of oil and natural resources is the driving force behind the U.S. threats against Iraq and other countries. The economic and geopolitical agenda of U.S. foreign policy must be exposed and opposed.
That U.S. declaration of SE Asia and the Philippines as the Second Front of the ‘War on Terror’ threatens the Human Security and People’s Sovereignty.
The Israeli state terrorism against Palestine forms part of the U.S. agenda in the Middle East. It must end now.
US state terrorism encourages similar recourse to national state terrorism in the Asian region.
There must be a peace process in Kashmir in which the aspirations of the people of Kashmir are given a priority.
The full participation and guiding perspective of women and youth must shape the agenda of ecumenical solidarity.
That we commit ourselves to work in the spirit and discipline of interfaith cooperation.
Peace will come when the situation of women, children and youth is respected and war is no longer waged.
10. We decided that:
The U.S. action designating the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as foreign terrorist organizations and subsequent actions by the Philippine and Dutch governments has jeopardized the peace process. It is vital that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines immediately resume the formal peace negotiations on the basis of previous agreements and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The U.S. armed forces must leave the Philippines immediately. This presence and activity in the Philippines violates national sovereignty and territorial integrity, aggravated armed conflicts and gives rise to social and cultural degradation.
All governments, including the U.S. and Philippines, have a responsibility and duty to ratify the Rome statute and support the International Criminal Court (ICC). We condemn the efforts of the U.S. to undermine the ICC.
We reject religious extremism and religious intolerance of all forms and we condemn any actions that degrade the lives of people regardless of one’s faith, race or ethnicity. We affirm our common humanity and our common commitments to justice and peace in all religious traditions.
To urge the WCC, CCA and NCCP to explore the possibility with the Asian women’s regional network the convening of an Asian Court of Women. This would focus on the brutal violence that is being experienced by women migrant workers, and particularly the undocumented women workers and their children who are being deported by the governments in the region and in the U.S.
We call on the church representatives to the United Nations to press for the implementation and the upholding of international human rights and international law.
We strongly condemn the impending U.S driven war on Iraq, and Israel’s U.S. backed aggression against the Palestinian people. We demand peace with justice.
Not in God’s Name
11. We join with families of victims in the U.S. who say ‘not in our name’, to those who would kill and repress as a response to September 11th.
12. We believe that the living God is saying ‘not in my name’ to those who would invoke God’s name or divine will to justify or legitimate domination, repression and state violence.
13. We stand with those who suffered from terrorist attacks and those who suffer from and resist the violence and domination of the U.S. global empire and the oppression of national states and transnational institutions.
14. We confess that the Church has often been complicit with the power of Empires. As people of faith we must choose to resist the death dealing domination of Empire and engage in the struggle for life in all its fullness for all God’s creation.
15. The Christian church is to give witness to Christ’s lordship and so resist oppression and idolatry of any state or group that claims divine justification for power over others. We oppose the use of theological and religious language to justify war and the agenda of Empire.
16. We believe in the power of the resurrection in history. In the face of repression and violence, death does not have the last word.
17. We commit ourselves to making another world possible, a world of peace with justice and respect with all creation.
18. We stand in solidarity with all those who suffer and struggle against domination as we humbly seek to be with Jesus in his mission as declared in Luke 4:16f:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, he has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
Choice for Life
19. We call upon the Conference organizers to facilitate a global coalition of ecumenical and inter-religious and multi-faith movements in solidarity, resistance and opposition to expanding state terrorism and U.S. global hegemony including the creation of an African, Asian, Latin American and Pacific solidarity network. This could take the form of a People’s Forum of Peace for Life as a contribution to the ecumenical ‘Decade to Overcome Violence’.
20. We will not be silent. We covenant with each other to take up the issues in our own countries and settings. We call upon Christians in general to take a position against militarized globalization and raise their voices unambiguously to stop the U.S. government from continuing its war against people and peace. We invite the U.S. churches and the wider ecumenical movement to join with us as we seek to establish forums to critique and confront the U.S. global agenda.
21. In the face of the massive threat to life posed by this global situation, together in unity and solidarity, we say again: ‘Another World is Possible!’
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002