Additional Information on Robert Edgar

● Following the 2004 U.S. presidential election won by incumbent George W, Bush, Edgar stated, “This election confirmed that we are a divided nation, not only politically but in terms of our interpretations of God’s will. We in the church must redouble our efforts to call all people of faith to affirm the values of both public morality and private piety.”

● In late 2004, Edgar denounced the U.S. for detaining, at Guantanamo Bay, some Chinese Uighur Muslims who had been in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Having found them no longer a threat, the U.S. wanted to release them but could not return them to China, where they would have been imprisoned or killed. Edgar demanded that they be given immediate refugee status in the U.S., since Uighurs are a “persecuted minority” in China. Edgar offered the services of NCC’s relief arm in the Uighurs’ potential U.S. resettlement. Rejecting Chinese demands for their return, the U.S. ended up sending the Uighurs to Albania.

● In 2006, Edgar stated: “We urgently reaffirm our 2003 call for the prompt reconvening of talks with North Korea leading to a non-aggression pact between North Korea and the United States, renouncement of pre-emptive attack and negotiation of a peace treaty replacing the present Armistice Treaty of 1953 and the establishment and exchange of liaison offices between the United States and North Korea as a sign of good faith.”

● In October 2007, Edgar was a signatory to an “interfaith call” for a day-long fast — in recognition of Ramadan and Yom Kippur — designed to inspire efforts to end the War in Iraq. “American culture, society, and policy are addicted to violence at home and overseas,” the statement read; “Ending this war can become the first step toward a policy that embodies a deeper, broader sense of generosity and community at home and in the world.” Other signatories included Rabbi Michael Lerner and Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Organizations that endorsed the “interfaith call” included the American Friends Service Committee, the National Council of Churches, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Pax Christi USA, Sojourners, and the Islamic Society of North America.

● In addition to his work for NCC, WWW, and Common Cause, Edgar also served on the boards of such organizations as the National Coalition for Health Care, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and Independent Sector. He was Chair of the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future, and was a member of the Select Committee on Assassinations (which investigated the circumstances surrounding the killings of President John F. Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.).

 

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