My younger brother David has been tasked with the honour of reading the names of the 52 people who perished in the London Transport suicide bombings 18 years ago on Friday, July 7, when the annual memorial is held in Hyde Park.
David himself lost a leg and much else in this appalling atrocity which also left some 700 others injured. Now 68, he made what I regard as a miraculous recovery thanks to the prayers of friends around the world, backed up by the care and skill of the medics at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
It has significantly changed his life, but he soldiers on bravely, holding no bitterness either against the Islamic terrorists responsible or indeed Muslims in general. It was amazing that he survived at all considering that he was sitting almost directly opposite the main perpetrator of the entire plot which led to carnage on several tube trains as well as a London bus.
So it was that, just 60 years after we had finally seen off the Nazis following their devastating blitz of our capital (not to mention a death toll of some 50 million people including six million Jews), fanatical fascists returned to our prized city to carry out more murder and mayhem.
Hitler and these Islamic extremists have much in common, the most significant aspect being their hatred of the Jewish people, who gave us the Bible on which the best of Western civilization is based.
The entire Islamic jihad (holy war) being waged in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere is a war against the God of Israel, which is why they also attack Christians, who serve the same God, bodily represented by Jesus Christ.
Appeasers among our politicians in the early months of World War II wanted to make peace with Hitler. But, thank God, Winston Churchill stood up to him, and the rest is history.
But it still left Europe largely denuded of Jewish people, murdered in their millions in unspeakable death camps. But who is standing up to the Islamic threat today?
It seems we dare not face this Goliath for fear of further threats to our relatively peaceful way of life. After all, we may well be accused of Islamophobia. So we welcome them into our camp and even promote them to generals in charge of important sections of our ancient land.
It’s an elephant in the room, and we have been cowered into shameful silence. But this mealy-mouthed, lily-livered, capitulation to the antichrist spirit of the age was exposed for its shocking hypocrisy during the election of the Scottish National Party’s new leader in Scotland.
Top contender Kate Forbes was called out for her Christian convictions on sexual morality while the man who got the job – Humza Yousaf, a Muslim – was apparently not even asked what he thought about these issues. Yet Muslims supposedly don’t believe in same-sex relationships either!
So, for all the efforts of Churchill and the many soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom, we are back to square one – once again facing a serious threat to our culture and liberty.
A good friend of mine who works among persecuted Jewish communities around the globe tells me that growing tensions caused by Islamic fanaticism is largely responsible for Europe once more being denuded of these special people now fleeing to safer pastures.
But it’s not all gloomy. For Christians like myself, the answer lies in recognising the place of Jesus in our lives. Jesus died for our sins to reconcile us to God – and to each other! The 4,000-year-old conflict between Isaac and Ishmael can be resolved through the cross of Christ.
As the Bible says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…” (Ephesians 2:14).
As a Christian, I declare my love for Muslims, some of whom I have befriended over the years. I love them because Jesus loves them and calls them, like us, to follow him, saying: “I am the way and the truth and the life; no-one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus offers us what the Bible calls “life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19). And this is hugely appropriate for the 18th anniversary of what is known here as 7/7. For I understand that, in Hebraic thinking (which underpins all Scripture), the number 18 represents LIFE!
The memorial is something of a celebration of life in the face of those who love and pursue death, particularly poignant for David who was snatched from death!
And that is just what Jesus offers – “life in all its fulness” (John 10:10). Choose life!
Charles Gardner is author of Israel the Chosen, available from Amazon; Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com; To the Jew First, A Nation Reborn, and King of the Jews, all available from Christian Publications International.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.