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UPF – UK Statement on the Recent Riots

Posted by peacedevelopmentnetwork on August 12, 2011

Universal Peace Federation - UKIt is with great sadness that we saw the recent chaos and criminality on our streets of London and other major cities around the UK. Our condolences go out to the families of those who have lost their lives during the turmoil. Several images and statements are enduring. The first is the helplessness of an overstretched Police Force to prevent the sudden escalation of criminal behaviour, the emergence of undercurrents of jealously, greed, violence and inter-community tensions. When Police authority was removed real emotions and motivations were released in a crude and raw expression. ‘You’re rich we’re poor but we rule the streets tonight’ was an expression of the crude, underlying feelings. In response many Londoners utilised social media for a good purpose to gather to clean the streets the next morning.

There have been many noble but unsuccessful efforts to assist the most vulnerable and deprived of UK society. It would be wrong to blame these riots upon these failures. We should instead recognise that there is a widespread failure to inculcate correct values that would strengthen the conscience of individuals. Irrespective of the opportunity to steal or loot individuals should not take the chance but respect other’s property. Similarly Directors of companies should not abuse their position to exploit others. Politicians should not abuse their positions and power. Journalists, and religious leaders, also should not abuse their position. The Universal Peace Federaton believes we should live for the sake of others in creating one family of humankind under an inclusive, loving God and that we are morally accountable for our actions. These values should be taught primarily by example in the family, but also in schools, religious institutions and the wider community.

25 Responses to “UPF – UK Statement on the Recent Riots”

  1. Naz Hirji said

    How we respond to the dormant messages that have surfaced from the recent very sad yet telling events will be the legacy we leave for future generations. We need to come clean on all fronts and raise our ethical, moral and intellectual standards and set new benchmarks.
    Naz Hirji

  2. Rev.Dr.Sumana Siri ,D.Th.(Oxon.) said

    I unreservedly suppoprt this statement, albeit the wording of an all inclusive loving God. You may insert my name.
    See you next month.

    Yours sincerely,

    Rev.Dr.Sumana Siri ,D.Th.(Oxon.)

  3. Iffy Ahmed said

    Salam Br that is good may god reward u and thank u Salam

  4. Dr Ramzy said

    It is a very well written statement, I would like to include my name.

    Ramadhan Kareem

    God bless

    Dr Ramzy
    Chair of MCB Education.

  5. Lawrence Bloom said

    Excellent statement, I possibly would have gone slightly further describing in more detail the banking swindle that looted the entire economic system, however I recognise that propriety rules!

  6. Tim Miller said

    It reads well for a short statement.
    Could say more about solutions – character education, policies and education to strengthen marriage and family as source of stability for society – public/government recognition of the value of committed married couples as parents.
    Tim Miller

  7. James Dickie said

     Yes, you can add my name to trhe statement if you wish. One interesting comment I heard made was a propos of celebrity culture. He said, “They earn astronomic sums and do practically nothing.” Envy is one of the strongest e,otions and must have played some part in motivating there people.

  8. Ruth Barnet said

    I heartily approve of sending out a statement of support from UPF-UK but I have some comments:

    1. Condolences to the families who have lost loved ones – but also all those whose lives and livlihoods have been shattered.

    2. I would put the helplessness of innocent people to protect themselves and their loved ones and property – before the police.

    3. Though social networking was abused by rioters and abusers it was used to good purpose by ……..

    4.  I find the expression ‘the underclass of UK society’ deeply offensive. I would ‘vulnerable and deprived groups’.

    5. We should recognise that there has been an increase in families that are unable to function effectively and need help to set boundaries.

    6. The ‘failure of those with authority, status and wealth to provide adequate let alone inspiring role models’ should come in somewhere.

    I hope this helps.
    Best wishes

  9. Suryaparsad Upadhya said


    Please add my name.

    Suryaparsad Upadhya

  10. Barry Jacobson said

    Thank you all for a positive response to the civil unrest in our country.
    You can include my name as a signatory to your statement hereunder.
    Barry Jacobson

  11. Janet Baddeley said

    I think the statement you have emailed is good.
    I believe we should add that it is up to us all to follow
    up with our believes in the community being one family
    and try to encourage all members of all communities
    to come together to try to find Peace and Harmony.
    This may not be an overnight solution but from the
    small beginnings in bringing communities together
    we can achieve big things as has been proved with
    people cleaning up in their areas and offering support to
    one another in times of need.

  12. Lang Yabou said

    Thanks a lot for this initiative. You can add my name to it.



  13. Robin Marsh said

    The Times newspaper quoted on page one Saturday 13th August, ‘An analysis by the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) found that, among other factors linking the 18 areas worst hit by public disorder, is a high rate of single-parent families and broken homes.’ The article emphasised the lack of parental attendance when those under 18 were brought before a court or had spent two or more days in jail. This maybe only anecdotal and statistics will emerge later when the aftermath of the riots allows a more complete picture.

  14. Salma Hassam said

    Please add my name to the statement.

    Kind regards
    Salma Hassam

  15. A small black child carried a sign during the L.A. riots and it read, “No Justice No Peace”.

    The child’s sign holds true in gaza, L.A. and the world. No justice triggers revolutions.

    My belief, justice will come sooner or later. And, late justice comes with a high price.

    London’s rioters are the products of a crumbling nation, and an indifferent political class that has turned its back on them. The meaninglessness of the riots speak of problems with deeper roots than just material need: an underlying lostness in our culture around issues of identity and relationships. Alienated young men and women, some of them barely more than children, have taken this as an opportunity to steal, riot, burn and to generally kick against authority.

    British Muslims, estimated at nearly two million, have repeatedly complained of maltreatment by police and discrimination by the British Establishment and society for no apparent reason other than being Muslim. Just a few days ago Norway suffered the wrath of a right-wing extremist. We have been told that this was ‘unexpected”.

    Whether it is a group of people blowing up the twin towers in NY, a group bombing the London underground, an individual murdering children in Norway, or rioters and looters in London; these and other groups have a single objective in mind, to protest – not lawfully, but through any means possible, irrespective of the consequences of their actions, be it the loss of life or the destruction of property. The problem is, every time society suffers in this way, it is so much easier to blame someone else than to reflect on whether we were part of the problem in the first place; e.g. spending billions on wars which many of us did not believe we needed in the first place all the while basic services are being cut.

  16. Imam Dr Mamadou Bocoum said

    Dear Robin.
    This statement is very good and many thanks for that.

  17. Lurline Champagnie OBE said

    I would like to add my name to this statement.
    Lurline Champagnie OBE

  18. Peter Schroder said

    Thanks, I fully support the statement. However, don’t let’s forget, there are families out there who cannot afford a train ticket from London to Southend-on-Sea during their summer holidays, let alone to travel as a family together!

  19. Fritz Piepenburg said

    yes we were all surprised and shocked to see such violence in London and other cities of the UK errupt all of a sudden.
    Certainly violence and lootings have no excuse and must be rejected by any means. Yes it is a lack of value, code of honor, self-esteem, lack of education which cause young people to go to such extremes. However (and I miss this in your statement) the reasons and motivations lie not only in the failure of parental guidance. The main cause underpinning those actions is the overall sense of hopelessness and utter frustration which fills the hearts of the young people, having to deal with an ever widening gap between themselves and society at large. It would be interesting to find out, how many of those youngsters are unemployed (I suppose the large majority), and why is there apparently little chance for them to ever get a decent job (is it really their laziness and lack of motivation, or are there other reasons)? Young people who feel estranged from society, because they are not given any opportunity to fit into it meaningfully, tend to channel their energies into destructive and anti-social behavior. This is true, of course, not only for the UK, but for any society.
    Thus it is not just the “bad and criminal youth” which is to be blamed, but society in general and politicians in particular have to question themselves, what can be done for those young people to make them feel that they are “part of the whole picture”. If someone is part of society he/she doesn’t think of destroying it and breaking all rules because it would hurt him/herself. But if someone feels left out of society with little or no hope ever to take a meaningful position in it, he/she may feel justified to vent the frustration in violent anti-social behavior.
    In my view, the real lesson to be learned from these happenings is the challenge to society, how to make life meaningful and desirable again to those young people.

  20. I wholeheartedly support the concise couple of paragraphs of this statement. Having read through the additional comments by fellow signatories, I also find all of them valid in their argument. It is a multi-faceted problem and no one can purport to have simplistic ‘one-size fits all’ solutions. However, I do believe there is a profound moral malaise afflicting our society which traditional mainstream beliefs have not been able to address. Those of us in our comfort zone of stable incomes and stable families can recoil in horror at what the materially deprived within our community can do if given half the chance, but the increasing absence of a God-centered and loving family life is the ‘elephant in the room’, as far as I can see.

    No doubt one issue will be the extent to which these riots are a by-product of economic circumstance, and of how falls in the stock market and rising unemployment impact the poorest and the vulnerable. However, poverty is too often used as a weak excuse when in fact morality first of all means personal morality and personal responsibility – characteristics that can only really be learnt in the family home. Urban unrest has always existed in the past – it is the sheer scale of nihilism, looting and wanton destruction that we have witnessed that must surely now behove the various world faiths to come together to see how common values and beliefs can be reached for the greater good of humanity. There is more that unites us than divides us!

  21. Dr. Drora Bendov said

    Dear Friends
    I would like to express my condolences to the breaved families and my suppot to the UPF statement .
    My heart is with you
    Dr. Drora Bendov

  22. June Darby said

    All aspects have been covered in your statement and in the suggestions. I am not suggesting to add this, but I don’t like the harshness of many of the sentences and the response of some Councils, wanting to evict families whose children took part in the rioting. That will only compound the difficulties that problem families experience. To just want to react by evictions shows total lack of compassion and understanding as all leaders of society are to blame for the break down, and should be looking more at themselves and how they could better educate and provide programmes for young people that will interest, inspire, develop their skills and help instil a respect for good moral standards, values of discipline, self contol etc

  23. Simon Cooper said

    Thank you for this and I saw the statement on the blog. I thought it was v good. Please can you add my name to the statement.

    Many thanks


  24. John O'Neill said

    Thank you.I would like to add my signature to the statement.
    I would also like to make the following comments: The root, fundamental causes of the riots is the absence of moral and spiritual values being predominent in our society, as was the case in the 1950’s. In those days people could safely walk the streets and divorces and teenage pregnancies were rare. In the USA at the time of the great depression in the 1920’s and in the UK in the 1930’s when there was mass unemployment the crime rates in both nations was very low. A religious ethos was prevalent at those times in both nations. The humanistic, secular ideology, which has been predominent in the UK and originated in the 1960’s, together with the sexual revolution and the permissive society, has been a total disaster for our nation. Studies show that no society in history has been able to survive for long without a strong moral code. There has been a ten-fold increase in crimes and enormous increases in social problems in the UK since the 1950’s. We reap as we sow! Our nation desperately needs a religious ethos to be prevalent again, underscored by traditional marriage between a man and a woman highlighted as the blueprint for peace and stability, individually and collectively. Our nation also needs repentance which can be a key component in helping to restore the true values which all decent minded people long to see.It has been left mainly to the various moral groups who have been left to defend traditional values. The moral groups have done sterling work but desperately needed more support. Religious people and in particular religious leaders should have been at the forefront in challenging issues such as the ever increasing levels of sex, violence and bad language in the media, films etc; pornography, abortion-on-demand, quickie divorces, amoral sex education in schools etc. Rev. Dr. Moon the UPF founder made the following comments: ” All religious people should feel responsible for the shaky spiritual foundation of this generation and repent. throughout the long history of religion we have not made a convincing witness for our living God. Our past hypocrisy has allowed atheism to prevail. We should feel deeply guilty about all this. Today God is calling us. All religious people, standing on the internal foundation of deep self-reflection and repentance, should challenge the prevalence of all evils and work creatively in order to realise God’s will on earth. The living God wants to relate with us not merely in the context of scriptures and rituals, but rather dwelling in the hearts of people who keep God’s will in their minds and live it in their everyday life.”

    • I totally support John’s additional comments. We are now at a crossroads of human history where stark choices are presented to nations as to which road they go down – the spiritual, God-affirming route or the secular, humanist route – it really is a black and white issue, I’m afraid. Issues of social justice, wealth distribution and poverty are of course important but they should not cloud this central discussion that we now collectively need to focus our attention on. That is why religious leaders from the various world faiths need to settle their differences and affirm the absolute values and standards of norms and behaviour that are expected from us all, as children of the living God.

      Not to do so is just tinkering around the edges and further diminishes the importance of the religious experience when it should be at the forefront of all that we do, say or think. We cannot have one foot in both camps – we will then end up compromising to the point of accepting that everyone’s views and opinions are equally valid – this is just weak-kneed nonsense that renders any attempt to set higher standards as impotent. Our secular needs must serve our spiritual needs – if we get that right then collectively we can find solutions.

      Finally, as a life-long Catholic, I have no problem in welcoming the remarks of Rev Moon, which John has provided – they succinctly set out this blueprint for action for all God-affirming people. I would further add that I believe that God and Jesus, as well as all the founders of the various world faiths, are directly working through Father Moon to make not only the ecumenical ideal of Christian unity a reality but, beyond that, in seeking to unite the various world faiths under the common goal of ‘One (World) Family Under God’. As now a man in his 90s, it behoves us all in seriously considering the importance of what he has been trying to do before he passes away. This means looking beyond the sometimes lazy journalism and blinkered perceptions that have followed him over the past 70 or so years – if we react in haste in ignoring his spiritual status before he passes away then we truly will be ‘repenting’ in leisure. Thank you.

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