The reports of car bombs left outside a nightclub
in central London's Haymarket yesterday, provide much food
for thought and reflection.
A key issue is surely the value of human life? The IRA
bombers sought to make political use of the Catholic religion and many
of their supporters were at least ostensibly, Catholics. The same
applies to their protagonist Protesant Unionists.
earlier part of their campaigns to secure change through violence,
or likewise to maintain the status quo by killing,
bombs were often detonated without warning, causing much human death
injury and misery. Pressure, not least from men and women in the
pews, led to their tactics altering. Officially recognised coded
warnings of impending bomb explosions were given so that people could be
cleared from the affected areas.
This changed tactic still enabled the IRA
to further their campaign by attacking economic targets.
The example I recall was of their huge bomb in London's Canary
Wharf business centre. The thousands who worked there had time
to escape; much damage was caused by the bomb but with
only one human casualty, an Evening News vendor I think.
Such pressures also affected their Protestant Unionist protagonists. Having
recognised the value of human life, which of course
is fundamental to Christianity, Catholic and Protestant alike,
logical steps inevitably followed,
which appear to be leading to all sides being assimilated
into the democratic political processes. That must be
better than the previous carnage their activities wreaked
under the flag of religion which they had all wrongfully
purloined from the Church.
The unsuccessful perpetrators of last night have yet to be identified
but if they claim to represent any religion or ideology,
in my view the ordinary people who also adhere to that religion or
ideology, now need to stand up and be counted like the peace people
of Northern Ireland did in the late C20.
Those three women's protests which began in about 1976, about the
carnage being caused in the name of their God or of their
Country, started the road back to sanity there.
Policitians need to take courageous steps too. While it lasted,
Internment in Northern
Ireland stymied the Peace People, a point which those responsible
for maintaining the Guantanamo Bay prison would do well to
Let ordinary co-religionists of yesterday's attempted bombers,
find the courage and spirit to become today's peace people of C21.
A religion which really recognises the value of
human life, must surely eventually catalyse its own
peace people to emerge and affect those
whose actions deny that value, whatever holy sounding
words they may utter or beliefs they claim to hold?