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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 20:15 GMT 21:15 UK
Archbishop talk reflects on 9/11
Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams
Dr Williams has urged people not to use religion to justify terrorism
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has urged people not to use religion to justify terrorism.

He made the comments during a lecture in Egypt on the third anniversary of the 11 September attacks.

Dr Williams said people of religious faiths needed to "find the common commitment not to use the name of God to justify violence and injustice".

He said people should not seek revenge as this involves "holding up a mirror" to the "terrible acts" done to them.

The Archbishop used the speech at the al-Azhar al-Sharif Institute, in Cairo, to reflect on his own memories of the atrocity in New York.

If we do act in the same way as our enemies, we imprison ourselves in their anger, their evil
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

He said: "Three years ago I was one of those who shared just a little in the terrible events in New York."

He described being trapped in a building near the World Trade Centre with a colleague for a short time on that day.

"We were among those fortunate enough to be able to get out of the area just as the second tower collapsed," he said.

"We saw at first hand something of the nightmare and the suffering of that day."


Dr Williams warned against resorting to revenge in the aftermath of the attacks.

He said: "We may rightly want to defend ourselves and one another - our people, our families, the weak and vulnerable among us.

"But we are not forced to act in revengeful ways, holding up a mirror to the terrible acts done to us."

He added: "If we do act in the same way as our enemies, we imprison ourselves in their anger, their evil."

Dr Williams commended the widespread condemnation of the Beslan school attack in Russia by religious leaders.

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