Only a very small number of Muslims in the UK or anywhere advocate violence; Islam is a religion of peace. In the aftermath of the incident, some are calling attention to radical extremists among Muslims. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has proved himself to be a balanced and mature commentator of contemporary affairs, expressed his opinion that radicalism is a particular problem in Islam these days.
Blair may be correct, but two points are worth remembering.
- Intervention by the western world in Muslim regions throughout the last 150 years, including today, has created an environment within which radical Muslims can readily find adherents. Our colonial, mercantile, and militarist tendencies are manifest. I'm not saying that we deserve whatever is done unto us, but we cannot overlook our complicity.
- History is replete with tragedies committed by radical Christians, as Blair noted. Don't assume that Christians have taken sufficient responsibility for those tragedies or that they will not recur.