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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
UK religious leaders urge restraint
President Bush at White House meeting on Wednesday
President Bush should consult his close ally Britain, says the Archbishop of Westminster
The United States should exercise restraint in its response to terror attacks on New York city and Washington, say British religious leaders.


Whatever happens now must not happen out of anger it must be considered, effective, precise, just

Chief rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks
The US should seek "wise counsel" from its close ally Britain over the matter, said the Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O'Connor on Sunday.

He said the people responsible for the "terrible crime" must be brought to justice but the key question was how that justice was exacted.

Action by America must be "considered, effective, precise, and just", said Britain's chief rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks.

Terror should be fought with "precision" to prevent an escalation of violence, he added.

'Righteous anger'

Speaking in a television interview, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor said world leaders would want to take actions that would not lead to greater evils.

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Cormac Murphy-O'Connor: "Wise counsel" needed
He told GMTV's Sunday programme: "Those who have committed this terrible crime and are responsible for it must be brought to justice, of that there is no doubt, and I think it is in that sense that all of us understand the righteous anger of the United States.

"But, I think, how that justice is brought about is the key question," he added.

"It is easy to say this, but never was there a time over the past many, many years when wise counsel was more needed and I think that here in Britain we are in a good position .. to give wise counsel as a very close ally of the United States."

'Undeniably evil'

Dr Sacks echoed the Archbishop's words.

"This is undeniably evil and if this isn't evil then we have lost our moral sense," he told the programme.

Jonathan Sacks
Chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks: "just" response
But he said any response must be precisely targeted otherwise a worse problem would be created.

"Civilisation depends on our ability to control our anger..and whatever happens now must not happen out of anger it must be considered, effective, precise, just," he added.

The "shocking and terrifying" images of last Tuesday's attacks would stay with him for the rest of his life, Dr Sacks said.


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