Christian leaders have condemned the Islamist terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, calling on Islamic leaders to take more responsibility.
Dr Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, stirred controversy when he told leaders of Britain’s Muslim communities to do more to bear responsibility and take action to prevent extremism.
He told the BBC Today programme that a fundamental lack of religious knowledge is hindering authorities’ attempts to counter the theology behind acts of terrorism, and called on all leaders to take responsibility to counter ‘religiously motivated violence’.
The archbishop commented that political leaders and other authorities ‘are often people who are unable to put themselves in the shoes of religious believers and understand a way of looking at the world that says that this defines your whole life, every single aspect of who you are and what you are’.
He said religion has always been ‘twisted and misused’ throughout history, but stated, ‘We have got to say that, if something happens within our own faith tradition, we need to take responsibility for countering that’.
His comments came days after three IS terrorists drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and then ran through the neighbouring Borough Market, stabbing people who were enjoying a night out. Some eight people have died and 48 were injured.
In May, a suicide bomber targeted young people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 and injuring 59, the worst attack on UK soil to date. In March, a van attack on Westminster Bridge killed five and injured 50.
Colin Hart, director of the Christian Institute, said: ‘Following three terror attacks in the past three months, we must be in prayer for the security services and the police, and for our nation generally. Let’s pray for the defeat of Islamic terrorism and for God to protect the UK’.