The recent events surrounding the terrorist plot against aircraft travelling from the UK to the US has attracted a great deal of attention, and perhaps rightly so. I can’t help but think that perhaps not all of this attention has been a good thing however, so here are a few of my thoughts on events…
First of all, there really isn’t anything to be afraid of right now. The government had been tracking this threat for months, and acted recently because they believed it to be the right time to do so. I would say that they were right too, at the moment they clearly feel they have enough evidence, and yet the attacks haven’t happened. This would be the perfect time to make an arrest in relation to any crime! And because of the action taken security has been massively stepped up, so the chance of terrorists actually executing their plan is pretty much none at all.
Then of course you have to bear in mind that there really wasn’t anything to fear before hand either. You are far, far more likely to be injured or die in a car accident than in an aircraft accident (including terrorist activities), I could pull up some stats but that would be a little pointless, feel free to look them up if you’re interested. Air travel is among the safest methods of transport, and the planned attack was only against between 3 and 10 aircraft, out of thousands of flights each day. Indeed food like this is far worse for my health than the flight I will be taking next friday!
I think that a really important question which people need to ask themselves is “what is the point of these attacks?”. And the answer is really quite obvious. The reason for the attacks is terrorism, that is the act of instilling terror into people. A small handful of people have the ability to put fear into an entire nation, and through doing this they exert some degree of control over them. The recent plot was targeting flights going from the UK to the US. As a result I suspect that the number of people flying from the UK to the US will dramatically decrease, and it will probably take some time for the flights to return to their normal level.
As long as this level of reaction can be achieved from a single act of terror, these acts will continue. If a person chooses to martyr themselves (as opposed to someone forced into a martyrdom situation), then I would suggest that they have chosen to do it both out of religious zeal, and out of a desire to have as large an impact upon this world as possible. I doubt very much that people would be quite so willing to give up their lives if it had little to no effect on the world.
Fear is suge a huge issue in the western world today, and a massive barrier for Christians trying to reach out, not to mention a huge struggle for Christians who focus too much of their attention on the world and not enough on God (which, lets be honest, we all do). I could write so much more about this, but for now I refer you to this post by Dan Hames.