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Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Hebdo’

I am in despair about the Paris shootings. With each attack on an individual, an organisation or a government by Islamic ‘terrorists’ I become more fearful for the very future of world peace.

That sounds dramatic, but each attack is a wedge driven more deeply between Muslims and Christians, between the Western world and – I know I generalise here – The Middle East and Africa.

I put the word terrorists in quote marks because I’m feeling less inclined to use that word to describe the religious maniacs who think it is a good thing to kill people who do not believe or think like they do. To me, a terrorist has a more political or nationalistic meaning.

Some of my atheist friends point out that Christianity has a lot to answer for: Crusaders fought Muslims in Spain & North Africa; in the 16th & 17th centuries variations of Christian doctrine were an excuse for umpteen European wars; the enmity between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland was the subject of many a news bulletin while I was growing up; differences of faith were behind the break-up of what we once called Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Fundamentalism is a curse, in any religion. I know there are ‘Christians’ in Africa who think gay people should be imprisoned or killed. But they are wrong and true Christians tell them so.

So what are Muslim communities and the Governments of Muslim countries doing to stop Islamic fundamentalists from killing people in the name of Allah? Are Muslim leaders out on the streets preaching tolerance of other faiths and of other views? Condemnation of the Paris murders is welcomed, but where is the active leadership, the organised youth programmes, the re-education and – yes – even punishment of the fundamentalists in their own society?

If they don’t step up to the plate I fear it will not be long before Muslim communities in Britain feel the backlash from the behaviour of their ‘brothers’ and our tolerance of other races and faiths is replaced by suspicion, fear and hatred towards all Muslims. And that’s why I despair.

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