The one thing though that I try to explain to many of my Muslim colleagues whom I hold in the highest regard is that this country remains liberal enough to accommodate even those who are not of the same persuasion, belief or values. This country offers its people the right to make peaceful protest about issues that are dear to their hearts without fear of being hounded or obstructed. Muslim nations do not grant this same right to those who live within their borders as foreigners or non-Muslims. There is enough freedom of expression granted in this country to express themselves without needing to blow themselves or anyone up. We must be bold as a country to insist that those that hate us and our way of life are not welcome here. No excuses. Revoke their citizenship and give them one way tickets to go to ISIS land or wherever with no chance of ever coming back. Their families must be put under surveillance and where any complicity is discovered they must also be made to leave and citizenship revoked. The citizenship of those who blew themselves up should be posthumously revoked. Those who engage in acts of terrorism and survive to be found guilty must be subjected to a different penalty regime. They cannot be thrown into UK prisons that have 3-star hotel status and which have become breeding grounds for gaining recruits into radical Islam.
We must be bold to speak up for the Christian heritage of this country instead of constantly undermining it with all the subtle inferences and attempts to downplay the essence of our very own Christian values over the values of other religions. As a person of Christian faith I am biased of course but thankfully the Christian doctrine is liberal enough to allow all to believe and to worship according to their convictions. When I visit a Muslim country, I am more than happy to accept that my way of life and mode of dress must fit in with the norms and values observed bythat country. It’s not me being a 2nd class citizen, but simply me acknowledging that I am in a country that holds its own value systems and beliefs dear and I must respect the country that has chosen to offer me some degree of their hospitality. If their ways do not suit me then I am free to leave. As a nation we must become prouder of the Christian heritage that defines our history and which we must not trade in for those who want us to abandon or dilute it.
Almost everyone who perished in Manchester tragedy will be accorded a religious funeral of sorts based on the faith they were born into or embraced at some point in their lives. That also applies to those who might not even have been practising Christians. The point I make here is that even those who are secular end up going through a religious or church ceremony of sorts in the majority of instances. So, if at death we observe the final rites of passage in accordance with the beliefs and tradition of a particular faith we must not shun the opportunity to live by some semblance of that same faith, in this case Christianity. No Christian doctrine preaches anything greater than love for our fellow human being and the example of Christ. The deeper aspects of the faith are based on a personal choice to live by its tenets and are never imposed upon anyone. So, as a society we must at least reinforce these basic tenets in our schools and as a way of life, and we must proudly defend our Christian heritage without apology. The same way that Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, and Atheists proudly defend their faith or lack of.