Today's atrocities in London were the archetypal cowardly act. Innocent, defenceless people going to work mindlessly slaughtered. To what end? A previously unknown derivative of al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the bombings. To what end? If it actually was responsible, it has simply confirmed its cowardice. If not, it has demonstrated cowardice on an even higher plane.

Any belief that this group has that its actions will have the desired effect is monumentally misplaced. Of course that assumes that we understand what the 'desired effect actually is. If we don't then we have an even bigger problem, with neither side having the foggiest notion of what the other is about. Either way, I am unclear how to reconcile the concept of "God, the merciful, the compassionate" with "revenge", and any God that sanctions this kind of barbarity doesn't get my vote.

Happily, as far as we can tell, all our friends and acquaintances in London are safe and sound. May a more merciful and sensible God ensure it remains so.