World leaders call for tolerance to be legacy of terror attacks on America

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Church leaders and heads of state called yesterday for greater tolerance, hope and humanity to spring from the 11 September terrorist attacks.

Church leaders and heads of state called yesterday for greater tolerance, hope and humanity to spring from the 11 September terrorist attacks.

Adopting a solemn tone for her 50th Christmas message, the Queen referred to a year of "trials and disasters", which had included the floods and the foot-and-mouth epidemic at home. But it was "the human conflicts and the wanton acts of crime and terror against fellow human beings which have so appalled us all," she said.

"The terrorist outrages in the United States last September brought home to us the pain and grief of ordinary people the world over who find themselves innocently caught up in such evil."

Pope John Paul II said religion must never be an excuse for violence and intolerance and that mankind's biggest task was, "to give us back the right to hope".

Looking frail and tired as he sat on the balcony of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, he said: "May God's holy name never be used as a justification for hatred. Let it never be used as an excuse for intolerance and violence."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, said the devastation in New York could bring "waves of new hope and new life" just like the birth of Christ. But he warned it would take a "strong commitment" to shared Christian values to overcome "intolerance and extremism"and it would be a mistake to rely on "emotion or collective grief".

George Bush, the American President, sent a special message to families who lost relatives in the 11 September attacks and attempted to bolster national morale in a radio broadcast from Camp David.

"This Christmas finds many facing hurt and loss, especially the families of terror victims and of our young men killed in battle," he said.

"America grieves with you, and we hope you'll especially find the comfort and hope of Christmas."

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