The narrative we are expected to buy into is that terrorism is nothing to do with Islam and, further, that it is a state of mind imposed upon young and ‘vulnerable’ Muslim men and women by an outside agency — a foreign agency and an agency which, again, has nothing to do with Islam. This is the process of ‘radicalisation’ we keep hearing about and I have never bought into it, having a certain respect for the concept of free will. And, I would contend, a rather less generous view of Islam’s worldwide beneficence and pacific nature than the one we are all enjoined to take.
And yet here we have a young man taken into the kindly, if somewhat wrinkled, bosom of an English couple who, it may emerge, still ended up trying to terrorise people in the name of his weary God. If the Joneses had been a Muslim family, then the press and the police would be demanding to know what they knew of this process of radicalisation, and what they had done to counter it. But there is nothing to be done. The religion itself sets its people apart from the rest and, in all too many cases, this apartness leads to a hatred. Radicalisation is nothing to do with it.