Ex-PM joins religious heads urging restraint in Syria

34 signatories

A US strike against Syria could spark a world war, Australian religious and political leaders, including Archbishop Denis Hart and former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, have said in a joint statement urging restraint, reports The Age.

Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Buddhist leaders plus secular leaders have signed the statement by Australians for Reconciliation in Syria saying a US strike would be 'an extreme escalation' of the conflict.

'Military escalation in Syria cannot defuse the crisis, limit the casualties of war or produce peace. Instead, some believe it can lead to a world war,' the statement says.

They say it is not yet clear who launched the chemical attack in Damascus on August 21, and that in the past eight years all of the leaders of the Coalition of the Willing have conceded they entered the Iraq war based on false information.

The 34 signatories include Melbourne's Catholic and Anglican Archbishops, Denis Hart and Philip Freier, Sheikh Riad Galli, the president of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia, Coptic Bishop Suriel, Greek Orthodox Bishop Ezekiel, barrister Julian Burnside, the National and Victorian Councils of Churches, the Victorian Buddhist Council, State Labor MP Bronwyn Halfpenny and Joseph Wakim, founder of the Australian Arabic Council.

'We urge governments and the media to listen to the voices of all Syrians, particularly those who are working for a peaceful solution and who reject violence,' the statement says. 

FULL STORY

Malcolm Fraser joins religious heads in urging restraint in Syria

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