Over the course of the weekend, another terrorist atrocity struck the UK. At around 10 pm, a van swerved into pedestrians, then three men wielding knives and with fake explosive vests attached to them, began stabbing people on London Bridge and in the nearby Borough Market. 48 people were injured, and seven people lost their lives. The following day, a series of raids carried out throughout East London, resulted in multiple arrests of terror suspects. London Bridge's attack was a mere fortnight after a bomb was detonated at an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people. Ariana staged a memorial concert broadcast around the world, just a day after the London Bridge attack. However, many attempts at solidarity and condemnation leave a lingering question in the ether of uneasy aftermaths. The question hovers in spectral repose, looming over everyday life, in the bones of a populace knowing their safety is wavering, they wonder: "how long until the next attack?"
Two of the attackers are named as 27-year-old Khuram Butt, Pakistani-born and living in Barking and Rachid Redoaune, 30, also from Barking. Butt featured in a documentary on British TV channel, Channel 4 about extremists linked to the radical preacher, Anjem Choudary. Anjem Choudary himself is a rather colourful character, his past was one of cannabis smoking, LSD, alcohol consumption and womanising, going by the name Andy, the antithesis of a devout Muslim. There exists a bizarre - or perhaps all too common - trait where Muslim terrorists seem to live hedonistic lifestyles before they seek an ecclesiastical Tabula Rasa. Omar Mateen, the man who killed 50 people at Pulse Nightclub, a gay club in Orlando, was rumoured to have attended the nightclub in the past and there were questions raised as to whether the gunman had homosexual tendencies. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the man behind the attack in Nice on Bastille Day last year, was known to have used drugs in the past too. Ostensibly, these terrorists think that committing devastation in the name of Allah will settle any heavenly debts against their immortal soul. There may exist an implication in such thinking that could lead to a breakthrough in the reformation of Islam.
Leading up to the Renaissance, the Vatican often had one of the major Italian families, such as the Borgias or the Medicis, as Pope. Also, concepts such as Purgatory developed during this era, previously some of the transgressions of a person were deemed erasable by acts of charity, penance or pilgrimage; however, some sin nevertheless stained a soul. It would be foolish of scheming families aiming for the highest office in Christendom not to exploit the panic of one believing that they faced eternal damnation. What began as the pope or a priest eliminating sins - or a partial amount of crime - soon grew into some divine protection racket, where the not so ascetically clean could celestially wash their soul, given enough gold. When governments began taking cuts of indulgences, getting offered to the rich like cards at a craps table, some of the more devout Christians began to complain that indulgences affronted Jesus. Martin Luther was the most vocal in condemning indulgences and the Papacy's overindulgence of the Gates of Heaven VIP club entrance. Islam is roughly five or six centuries younger than Christianity; it is also self-evident that for any ideology to move forward into an endlessly adapting (hopefully advancing) civilisation, it is incumbent upon those adhering to the doctrine to change its tenets. Change is never swift, the Protestant Reformation caused centuries of unease throughout Europe, up until the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. Now another religion begins to wreck havoc throughout Europe in its stead, who will be the Muslim Martin Luther or John Calvin? Or better yet, who in the Islamic world with authority akin to Henry VIII, will make a difference in modernising the last of the Abrahamic faiths?
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