Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday reflection - as it is now officially the run-up to Christmas

As usual, when Advent Sunday finally arrives and we finally officially enter the run-up to Christmas, it seems to have been going on unofficially for weeks.

This year there is the added irony that the period when we look forward to the coming of the Prince of Peace has been characterised by the beating of the drums of war as the terrorists of DA'ESH have shown their willingness to try to kill people around the world and a vote is likely in the near future on whether Britain should take military action against them.

The archbishop of Canterbury himself has said he found the evil of the attacks on Paris a challenge to his faith and I can certainly understand that.

Yet it seems to me that despair or terror on the one hand, and complacency or inactivity on the other, would equally be wrong.

The Jihadi warlords who have taken over a patch of Syria and Iraq and are using it to spread murder and terror around the world are a threat and one which has to be dealt with. We won't manage that by passing resolutions or going on demonstrations.

Yet by comparison with the existential threat to civilisation which was posed by, for example. Hitler these people have no chance whatsoever of winning. They have murdered thousands of innocent people, and will murder many more, and need to be stopped. Yet in comparison with the millions if people murdered by Hitler, by Stalin, or for that matter Mr McDonnell, by Chairman Mao, they will not merit much more than a footnote in the pages of history.

We should mourn the victims of DA'ESH, the so-called Islamic State. We should work with our NATO allies, the other UN Security council powers, and local non-Jihadi forces to curb them. But we should not let them turn our free societies into police state or fall into the trap of doing what the terrorists themselves hope we will do, and blame all muslims for their crimes.

The people of Britain can enjoy a happy Christmas, and although it is not given to any of us to know the future, I suspect that the people of Britain will enjoy many more happy Christmas celebrations in in years to come, while the time on earth of the so-called "Islamic State" will not be nearly as long.

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