BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: Wales
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Sunday, 23 December, 2001, 12:47 GMT
Terror attacks legacy remembered
Wales's religious and secular leaders have both spoken in their traditional Christmas messages of the horror and fear which shook the world with the terrorist attacks on the US in September.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan and the Archbishop of Wales Dr Rowan Williams are united in their condemnation of the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center and the US.

World Trade Center ruins
The "nightmare" of the World Trade Center attack persists
"We have probably been more frightened this year than we've been for a long time, " writes the Archbishop, who was just a steets away from the World Trade Center's twin towers when they fell on 11 September.

"We face new conflicts that are in many ways far worse, because we're dealing with enemies who are both hidden and, it seems, beyond negotiating with.

"How do you threaten someone who is quite ready to die for what they believe?"

He said the "nightmare " of 11 September had led people to conclude that the real problem in the world was religious faith, with many focussing particularly on Islam and religious schools breeding fanatics.

But the Archbishop warns that all faiths are capable of being distorted and, he argues, if faith is shut out of the public arena, you are actually encouraging isolation and misuse by fanatics.

"Only with this sense of humility and trust can we get beyond fear.

"The problem isn't belief in God. It is that so many of us, Christians, Jews, Muslims, here or in the USA or in the Holy Land, don't believe in God enough to make us humble and trustful," says the Archbishop.

Foot-and-mouth testing in the Brecon Beacons
Foot-and-mouth was a major problem in 2001

Meanwhile, Wales's political leader Rhodri Morgan, in his Christmas message, warns:

"We must never forget the events of 11 September.

"Nothing should undermine the values that we hold dear - freedom, democracy and the right to live in a tolerant and civilised society."

He writes that no matter what happens in the turbulent world outside, "we won't let anything divide us here in Wales."

Mr Morgan adds that Wales needed that strength and unity to cope with the rigours of 2001, including the foot-and-mouth crisis and the cutbacks in the steel industry.

"Despite these crises, we will continue to work hard to improve the economy and spread prosperity more widely across Wales," Mr Morgan says, adding that is why the Welsh Assembly has approved the national economic development strategy 'A Winning Wales'.

"That is our blueprint for developing a dynamic and prosperous economy in Wales, one where our young people will not need to leave Wales to get jobs."

See also:

21 Dec 01 | NYC Out of the ashes
Christmas in New York
13 Dec 01 | Wales
Economic blueprint is debated
16 Oct 01 | Wales
Morgan calms bio-terror fears
02 Oct 01 | Americas
Tragic calls from twin towers
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories