Author: Rev Colin Chapman
On 1 March, 2005, the headline in The Times was ‘The shoe bomber from a Gloucester grammar’, and we read of the shock and dismay of the Muslim community in that city over the conviction of the quiet and earnest Saajid Badat in the Old Bailey for having conspired to blow up an airliner over the Atlantic in December 2001.
How should Christians and the West be responding to this new phenomenon that is called ‘Islamic Terrorism’? We know how George Bush and the American administration launched their ‘war on terror’ in response to the attacks of 9/11, and how, having failed to catch Osama bin Laden in his mountain stronghold in Afghanistan or Pakistan, they turned their attention on Iraq, with the help of their only ally, Britain. We are no doubt very aware of the public debate that has been going on in the UK in recent weeks about the powers that the government believes it needs to detain suspected terrorists. If there is a wide spectrum of opinions about the war in Iraq and the threat of terrorism at home, we probably have to admit that Christians are probably almost as divided as the rest of our society over these issues.
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