Not for the first, or sadly even the second time in my Blogs do I repeat the phrase ... "coming to a city near you".
Attacks on innocent people - as in Barcelona and Cambrils - just cannot continue. Who gives these people the "right" to take other peoples lives? And in this case it came a little too close to home as very good friends were but 100m away from the Ramblas incident, and other friends just a little further. It was by chance they escaped any harm. And listen - it's not going to stop any time soon. Police and security services around the world stand very little chance of catching every little worm that creeps underground with the intent of doing harm to people - and believing that if they die in the process then they go to heaven, or whatever they call it. They want to destroy people - any people and if Muslims also get caught by this murderous intent, then the terrorists don't care. They also want to destroy places of worship - other than Mosques of course. Why? What is it that drives them?
Of course there are probably many simplistic reasons that we can all think of ... it is attractive to people from a rotten lifestyle with no hope of betterment, or no jobs through lack of education and the promise of a better life as promised to them by a person more educated than they are. Someone with the gift of persuasion.
And let's be frank, we have heard persuasive orators before. Hitler was one, as was the odious cult leader Jim Jones who led many people to their deaths. But if we are talking persuasion - and although I could not and would not put him in the same category as the other two but merely use him as a example - look how successful evangelists were; Billy Graham for example, although he preached love and forgiveness - not death and destruction. But persuasive none the less.
Does anyone have the solution? Long term education should be one possibility, but how long does that take to bear fruit - and who checks the content of the "education" anyway? In a rather novel twist I noted the other day an initiative being taken in Egypt where a group of Imams have established an "Advice Centre" on one of the cities Metro stations. It is they say "A means whereby they try to distinguish between the Islam twisted by extremist groups and the true meaning. It's hard" they say "as the extremists quote Koranic verses out of context. They manipulate it". It's a brave attempt and I wonder both how successful it will be and how long it lasts. But it's a tiny step. Look at the origins of this latest terrorist group, Moroccans - certainly not the first place in the world you would have looked, so terror spreads its wings.
Belief is a strange thing. I would much prefer to have things proved to me, which I don't think makes me a whole lot different from many other people, but if you can be persuaded to believe in something or in someone, I see there is an attraction. Christians have a strong belief in the teachings of Jesus, as do the followers of Islam. But unless I have totally misunderstood those teachings there is nowhere I can find that specifically suggests you need to seek out the destruction of human beings and property. If that had been the belief over the centuries, then the world would be in a dreadful state (okay - an even worse state!). This latest spate of terrorist attacks in general, and now lone wolf or small cell attacks is therefore generally new. And if it is new then there must be an opportunity to stop it by getting the right people to speak out against it. For respected leaders of a religion to condemn what is happening. To say that this is not the teaching of the Koran - but they need to do so now before it is too late. Parents need to be alert to the behaviour of their children and recognise that if they let their children go astray it will grown, to the detriment of the world.
Does the USA believe that these car attacks will not happen on their soil? I wouldn't count on it - and I wouldn't wish it on them either in the same way that I just hope it will stop, or our future generations are going to grow up in a very miserable world where Muslim communities will become isolated ... or worse, and fear will walk every street.
We must not allow that to happen ... we need a solution, now!