On Sunday two suicide bombings hit a Christian church in Peshawar, Pakistan killing at least 78 people according a report by Aljazeera who reported that:
The attack occurred as hundreds of worshippers were coming out of the church in the city's Kohati Gate district after services to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn, said a top government administrator, Sahibzada Anees.
"There were blasts and there was hell for all of us," said Nazir John, who was at the church with at least 400 other worshippers. "When I got my senses back, I found nothing but smoke, dust, blood and screaming people. I saw severed body parts and blood all around."
The white walls of the church, which first opened in the late 1800s, were pockmarked with holes caused by ball bearings or other metal objects contained in the bombs to cause maximum damage.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has condemned the attack as violating the basic tenets of Islam, yet the Islamists continue to attack both Christians and Shia Muslims which they see as "heretical" and obviously have developed their own version of Islam to follow.
Whatever the "theological" basis they use for justifying their murderous actions, as an atheist and a humanist all I see is a group of ideologues murdering anyone they see as different which simply makes them fascists in my mind.
The Islamists are a threat to us all.
We often hear in the media that these people only represent a minority within the world Muslim community. That is undoubtedly true, but they are not a small minority. They have their sympathisers, who may not agree with their methods, but give tacit support and welcome their aims. The nearest analogy I can think of is the attitude of sections of the Catholic community in Northern Ireland who may not have approved of the bombings but wouldn't shop them to the police either.
The Islamists have a social base.
If we are to truly combat the seeds of their nefarious and hateful theology then the real fight begins within the Muslim community itself.
What Islam needs is an Itjihad, a reformation and modernisation of its way of thinking for the modern era.
The medievalists of groups like al Shabab and others need to be challenged on an ideological level, more to end the brain-washing of the young that these fanatics seem to attract.
It means challenging the exclucivism that seems to be practised by some Imams and I don't just mean the crazy ones that promote themselves in the media. There are state funded schools such as the al-Madinah school in Derby that was the subject of a report in the Sunday Times this weekend. No education establishment should be allowed to impose segregation and religious teaching at the expense of proper education, yet here they are apparently doing so with impunity.
Including imposing Muslim dress on non-Muslims it would seem.
Such establishments will continue divisions between Muslims and others with such backward practises.
The there's the question of the veil, a subject of much debate recently. In my view, not Islamic (you cannot cover your face when you go to Mecca), so it can be clearly seen as part of a separatist agenda from the medievalists.
The debate must be had whether some like it or not.
And it can be heard here. Try and get along.
Maryam Namazie will be speaking at a debate on the niqab (face veil): human right, security concern or symbol of oppression? on Tuesday 15 October 2013. Chetan Bhatt, Director of the LSE Centre for the Study of Human Rights, will chair the debate. It starts at 6.30pm in CLM 4.02 Clement House at 99 Aldwych, WC2B 4JF. Registration at door.