It was 1981 and mum and I were walking down Oxford Street away from the Wimpy Bar we’d lunched in an hour or so earlier.
There is nothing quite like the sound of a bomb and I’m lucky never to have heard it again. Lucky also that’s the closest so far I’ve come to terrorism.
I read today The Islamic State (IS) is being called the terrorism threat of our time. With 38 poor souls cut down on a beach in Tunisia the other week and the hundreds of thousands of lives globally already blighted by this group this statement sadly appears to be true.
At this moment in time IS shows no sign of faltering. As soon as it loses territory, it grabs others.
Our media seems transfixed with incredulous stories asking why young people and families are fleeing their Western homes to join it.
Alleged experts expound possible causes to include foreign policy now and in the past, societal inequality, teenage rebellion, and online grooming. Who knows?
But if the history of terrorism teaches us one thing, it must be that every single terror group, covering every religious ideology, preceding IS has failed.
Terror tactics inflicting atrocities on another group of human beings just because they don’t believe in what you do simply does not work. And never will.
IS will not ultimately conquer, but it isn’t yet ready to cease its horror.
As human beings we have capacity for such creativity, wisdom (believe it or not), and ingenuity. Love encompasses us but that also brings with it hate and a bullying nature.
I fear terrorism may also be entrenched in our nature and will never leave us. I so want to be wrong.
I want us to stop decimating each other in the name of religion, money, or because we’re a psycho.
I want people to stop calling IS attacks “Islamist’ because they’re not and its fuelling even more hatred. Islam is a peaceful religion. Take the time to read the Bible and Koran and you’ll see both religions have more in common than not.
It should be simple; treat each other how we’d like to be treated ourselves.
What’s so wrong with that?