Again, “terror” rears its ugly head with the horrific attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya. Again, people are prepared to die for their cause in a storm of blood and glory. Again, the victims are innocent – normal people out shopping. Again, after a period of morbid fascination, life moves on for people in the world, people forget about it and the story fades into background noise. Again, impressionable and vulnerable people will do things because they truly believe in what they do and that they are acting on God’s command. There can be no greater justification for the abandonment of reason. How can people operating under pure faith ever be beaten? They talk about increased education or lifting people out of poverty. That is all pie-in-the-sky impractical nonsense. Flipping it around, can the terrorists “win”? Can they impose their way of life across the entire world by bombing their way to victory? Of course not. They must know this. They must believe that the pursuit of victory, however unlikely, is victory itself. That leaves us needing to change their goal, the goal that has been, in their minds, sent to them by God.

Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for this massacre, putting their name into the public psyche. They are probably fortunate that their name rhymes with kebab – it’s how they will be remembered by the common masses in months to come. They used the internet to tweet statements about their progress and to broadcast political messages, showing a very modern sense of marketing. Their problem being that no one is really listening. People are consumed by apathy and a sense of disconnection. Kenya? In Africa, somewhere, big shame, what’s for dinner?

After the 7/7 bombings in London, even the 9/11 attack in New York, there was an enormous sense of fury, anger, fear, astonishment and desire for revenge. Then, I think there was a sense of puzzlement. Why? What do they want? British citizens were responsible for 7/7, attacking their own country. They had followed their convictions and blown themselves up into a thousand pieces, taking 52 people with them. Many others suffered injuries and countless more were affected indirectly. For what? They created a tsunami that became a wave, which turned to a ripple and a memory – outside of those directly involved, of course. Did they move nearer to their goal? They certainly hit out at the society they had grown up in and come to despise, yes, but did they move in any way towards an Islamic state in the UK? No. If their progress to that goal could have moved backwards from zero then it would have done. According to a BBC poll, a quarter of young British people ‘do not trust Muslims’. It’s incredible to even consider conducting a poll based on the trust of people based on their religion. If it does not affect others, what men and women do in their own time should be completely their own choice and should not change what others think about them. If the man next door wants to worship the Sun God, Ra, who am I to have an opinion of him or to judge him? Who am I to tell him he is wrong and that he should worship and serve another God? Think also of numbers. In the 2011 Census, 4.8% of the UK population practiced Islam. That’s 2.7 million people. Of those people, the number radicalized or capable of being so is tiny, yet those few are in a large way responsible for large scale distrust. This distrust breeds resentment within the Muslim community, which splits society further. It becomes an unbreakable circle. It’s easy to say peaceful Muslims should do more to stop the radicalization process but that’s lazy. It assumes the radicals would listen to people that they believe have in some way betrayed their God through lack of action.

It’s a very unhealthy situation and it is hard to see a way out of it.